ABI Research says that data usage in Western Europe and North America from 2009 until 2015 is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42% and 55% respectively.
However, this increase in data traffic is not being matched by a rise in data revenues for network operators. Mobile data revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of only 18% in North America, restricted in part by the popularity of 'unlimited' or 'fixed price' tariffs.
ABI Research also notes that this growth in data traffic is – in developed markets, at least - coming at the cost of voice. Bhavya Khanna, one of the company's wireless analysts, said "Mobile voice has already been surpassed by mobile data traffic on some networks, and this trend will only accelerate. This boom in usage is driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones in these markets."