Mobile data to triple by 2006

Mobile operator data services revenue will rise from EUR12.2bn in 2002 to EUR34.9bn in 2006, according to a study by IDC.

"Networks are in place but operators have not extensively marketed packet-based services," said senior analyst Paolo Pescatore. "Operators have to market these services to start educating users and making the migration towards UMTS as seamless as possible."

"In Europe, most operators are offering GPRS services, which were initially marketed at corporate users but are now being offered to consumers. However, no operator has launched commercial UMTS services except for the small operation of MM02 (BT's former mobile subsidiary) in the Isle of Man, UK. Following big auctions in the UK and then in Germany, governments have been unable to attract enough bidders, resulting in lower proceeds and operators requesting to share network infrastructure and delays to the roll-out of networks.

"Many operators are owned by pan-European companies such as Vodafone Group, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile subsidiary, France Telecom's Orange Group, and MM02, which have experienced tumbling valuations, and those seeking stock market listings delaying IPOs until market conditions improve."

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