Ring tones, phone games to rake it in

Revenue from wireless data services could reach $189 billion in 2009, according to a new report.

Worldwide revenue from mobile data services is expected to jump from an estimated $61 billion this year to $189 billion in 2009, according to a new report.

Forty-eight percent of the revenue in 2009 will come from personal communication services such as text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, video messaging and other rich content, Strategy Analytics said in its report, released this week. Text messaging via SMS (Short Message Service), will remain a key application globally, accounting for 26 percent of all data service revenue in 2009, the market researcher said.

The growth in data services is faster than expected because of the availability of feature-rich handsets, according to Strategy Analytics. Applications like ring tones and downloadable games are doing strong business in many markets, while video and audio services are also growing in popularity as service providers launch 3G networks.

"Mobile data services are currently undergoing a period of strong growth as a result of carrier strategies, many of which were implemented in late 2002 and 2003, that have succeeded in establishing a strong base for consumer demand. These include better marketing, lower data prices, greater service availability, faster transmission speeds, richer handset features and more intuitive user interfaces," David Kerr, a Strategy Analytics vice president, said in a statement.

Cell phone companies are increasingly looking at data services for additional revenue.

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