LONDON: Data services are set to be the main drivers of growth in the UK mobile telecoms industry going forward, as devices like the iPhone reshape popular habits.
According to research firm Ovum, voice call revenues will decline from £13bn ($20.5bn; €15.1bn) in 2009 to £9.5bn by 2015, with intense competition serving to push prices down.
Returns delivered through data transfer were predicted should improve on £6.6bn in 2009 to £8.4bn in 2015, largely as mobile web usage surges.
"It is a reflection on the way the market is moving; voice services have become commoditised, while demand for access to the internet on the move has grown rapidly," said Steven Hartley, an Ovum principal analyst.
"Data is now a key driver of the mobile market and revenues will continue to grow steadily."
"By 2015 there will be a much narrower gap between the revenues from voice and data and if data continues to grow at the same rate, it will overtake voice in 2017."
Overall, the value of mobile network usage was pegged to decrease from £19.7bn in 2009 to £17.6bn in 2015.
This is despite the fact total connection numbers are due to reach 84.8bn in five years time, measured against 79bn last year.
Data sourced from Ovum; additional content by Warc staff