Data: 85% of Mobile Traffic But 39% of Revenue—What Gives?

A whopping 85 percent of the traffic traversing the four nationwide mobile operators networks is pure data, according to a new study by wireless analyst Chetan Sharma, showing that the U.S. mobile industry long ago abandoned its voice mantle to become a data-driven juggernaut. Or has it? Sharma also found that data accounted for only 39 percent of all mobile data revenue that carriers collected in the fourth quarter. Operators may be running what are primarily data networks, but they are still getting paid mainly for voice minutes.

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