(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Arab Advisers Group said Saturday it expects a boom in mobile data consumption in the Kingdom during the next few years as the number of Jordanians holding smartphones is on the rise.
"The number of mobile users downloading apps, playing online games on their devices and accessing social networking sites through their phones is increasing in Jordan," Jawad Abbassi, founder and general manager of Arab Advisers Group, told The Jordan Times over the phone.
The Arab Advisers Group is "a specialised research, analysis and consulting company focused on the communications, media, technology and financial markets throughout the Arab world", according to its website.
Currently, smartphone penetration in Jordan stands at about 43 per cent, Abbassi said, adding that by the end of 2012, about 50 per cent of the mobiles used in the country will be smartphones.
By the end of 2011, mobile penetration reached 120 per cent in Jordan, according to figures by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.
"Smartphone prices are becoming lower every month. Most of their holders are connected to the Internet and they consume data," Abbassi said.
"Mobile operators not only in Jordan, but across the world are earning more revenues from data services than they make from voice services," he noted.
New business models to boost mobile operators' overall revenues will be one of the major topics on the agenda of the Arab Advisers Group's 9th Convergence Summit that opens on Tuesday, according to Abbassi.
"Nowadays, mobile operators worldwide are looking into ways to make users who consume a huge volume of data on the Internet pay more than those using the Internet just for sending e-mails and consuming a limited volume of data," he added.
Growth in smartphone usage in third world countries is rising significantly and Middle East markets are among the fastest growing in terms of mobile and Internet penetration growth, the analyst elaborated.
A recent forecast by Informa Telecoms & Media indicated that mobile data consumption across the world is expected to grow tenfold over the next five years and that mobile users will use eight times more social media sites in 2016.
Mobile phone users will, in 2016, on average use 6.5 times more video and nearly 10 times more games compared to 2011, the report, e-mailed to The Jordan Times, said.
There will be a big upsurge in traffic for most mobile data services over the next five years, largely driven by the spread of smartphones and a 23 per cent increase in the number of mobile users worldwide, according to the report.
In 2016, the average mobile user is expected to be browsing six times as many web pages and downloading 14 times as many megabytes of applications as in 2011.
Text (SMS) and picture (MMS) messaging traffic will continue to grow, but at a much slower pace than most other mobile data services, the report said.
On average, mobile users sent 118 SMSs and two MMSs a month in 2011, compared to the 146 SMSs and four MMSs they are expected to send in 2016.
The growth in traffic will surpass the growth in revenues. Global mobile data traffic will grow from 3.89 trillion megabytes in 2011 to 39.75 trillion megabytes in 2016, while global mobile data revenues will grow from 325.8 billion in 2011 to 627.5 billion in 2016, the report indicated.