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Mobile data set to explode in Latin America, Middle East, Africa

Mobile Internet revenue will rocket in Latin America and the Middle East over the next five years, latest research claims, with some users downloading upwards of 2.5GB of data on average per month.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Latest data from ABI Research suggests only three regions — Latin America, Middle East, and Africa — will see mobile Internet data traffic double in less than every two years on average between 2013 and 2018.

In a note published on Monday, the New York-based research firm said by 2018, the developing regions will see an average user downloading more than 2.5GB in data per month.

The data also shows that the strong per-subscription data consumption rate is increasing compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by upwards of 49 percent.

There's a simple reason for this, say the researchers. An increased availability in affordable smart devices in the near future will contribute to the increase in data traffic in regions where data is still a costly commodity.

Some other tidbits from the research show that low literacy rates in Africa have resulted in a low messaging volume across Africa, but this number is increasing and will become the only region to see consistent service revenue growth over the next five years.

"Nonetheless, a key determinant of the future consumption pattern will be the regulatory policies in the regions," ABI Research associate director Ying Kang Tan said in prepared remarks. Measures such as number portability in the EU have proved popular, but have only just been implemented in Nigeria, for instance.

But the research firm notes that these positive-moving trends do not necessarily mean it will result in increased profitability for cellular firms and network operators. 

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