I've predicted we'd reach this number from way back in 2002 when my second book came out (M-Profits), that before the end of the decade mobile telecoms would become a Trillion dollar industry. Now we have the first major industry analyst indicate that this year, 2008, will be the first time mobile telecoms revenues will pass the Trillion dollar (1,000 Billlion, or a Million-million) level.
Why is Trillion dollars relevant? The total world economy is worth about 40 Trillion. There are only a handful of industries that are so giant, that they are Trillion dollar industries - automobiles are one; total worldwide military spending is another; tourism is yet another. TV is not, advertising is not, the internet is only a tiny fraction of that in size; the total IT industry (all computers, services including the internet) is only half that. But this year mobile telecoms joins that magical club of super-sized industries.
Portio Reseach gives some breakdowns at its site, that the mobile network operator (carrier) revenues will be 874 B dollars this year. Of that 777 B will be person-to-person communication, ie voice and SMS traffic revenues; and the remaining 97 B dollars will be mobile operator revenues in non-SMS mobile data traffic.
But Portio also gives the overall mobile data number for 2008, at 161 B dollars. That includes all the independent mobile data providers (think Jamba with its Crazy Frog ring tone). So when we deduct the 97 B dollars of mobile operator (carrier) non-SMS data revenues from the 161 B total, we get 64 B dollars of mobile data revenues earned by players other than the mobile network operators. Some of that is content revenues earned by content providers like CNN and Disney, but others are the stand-alone providers like many mobile gaming companies, music companies, social networking services on mobile etc.
So this year Portio says 161 B dollars of (non-SMS) mobile data revenues worldwide, and 64 B of that is beyond the reach of the mobile operators. This is a rapidly growing industry indeed. (Thanks to our dear friend Ajit Jaokar of Open Gardens for mentioning this research to us).