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Mobile Data Demand Is Up

February 16, 2009

A survey released on Monday showed that consumer demand for data services on mobile phones, such as accessing email or browsing the Web, is rising despite the global economic downturn.

Over half of those who already use mobile data expect to use it more often in the next two years, according to the survey of 50,000 consumers in Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the United States.

Jesse Goranson of The Nielsen Company, which carried out the survey, told Reuters that more than a quarter of the millions of consumers who do not use mobile data services today intend to start using them shortly.

The survey was conducted in November, when consumers were already aware of the worsening economic outlook. Nasdaq-listed network gear supplier Tellabs commissioned the poll.

Mobile data “” one of the growth drivers for telecoms operators in mature markets where nearly every consumer already has a cell phone “” is clearly here to stay, according to Ben McCahill, director of mobile strategy at Tellabs,

“Given that this was done well into the recession, I think that this is very positive news for operators — there is a large and increasing opportunity out there,” he said.

Tellabs is a company that sells equipment that mobile operators use to direct traffic between cell sites.

Some 100 million subscribers worldwide already use high-speed data services on mobile phone networks, industry group GSMA reported.

“Dongles,” which connect laptops to the Internet via mobile phone networks, have played a large part in that growth, along with phones featuring high-speed data connections made by Nokia or HTC or the latest version of Apple’s iPhone.

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