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The new cellular mobile networks, such as 3G, i-Mode and EVDO, “are just stepping stones to deployment of WiMax in late 2007”, analyst Paul Budde predicts in his latest report.

“These networks, built for voice services, have been fine-tuned over the years for efficient and effective voice transmission,” Budde comments. “While technologies such as GSM and CDMA allow, in principle, mobile data services, these networks can never be optimised for that. “Voice will remain the killer application for mobile, with some data services included as support services and niche market services.”

Budde says SMS remains a major growth area. However, revenue growth isn’t keeping pace with the growth in the number of messages. They will reach 4.5 billion this year – an average of 250 messages for each subscriber, Budde estimates. By the 2010 more than 10 billion messages will be sent each year. But SMS accounts for only 10-15 percent of revenues.

“MMS was aimed to provide longer text messages, in addition to music and pictures. Started in 2001, it has failed to take off,” Budde notes. Budde says his Mobile Data and Content Markets report is available from $795 (excl GST).

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