Messaging applications, whether they be text messaging or email from BlackBerry and other wireless devices continue to generate the lion’s share of wireless data revenue for the country’s three national wireless operators, according to information gathered by Report on Wireless. While there is a homogeneity in the type of application driving wireless data revenue, there is a split taking place where consumer applications appear to be taking the lead in terms of revenue generation in at least one wireless carrier. In the past, business application usage from the BlackBerry, for example, led by a wide margin in generating wireless data revenue.  Rogers Wireless Inc. is now generating 60% of data revenue from consumer applications with the remaining from the business segment, primarily BlackBerry-related revenue (RoW, May 4/05). Telus Mobility, on the other hand, continues to report the majority of its data revenue from business access and BlackBerry. The information provided by Bell Mobility noted the specific drivers behind its wireless data revenue growth and gave the impression that BlackBerry users continue to drive the lion’s share of wireless data revenue.   Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility don’t break out wireless data revenue as a percentage of average revenue per user (ARPU) for competitive reasons, but they both provided year-over-year (YoY) growth rates. Telus Mobility notes that it is experiencing more than 100% YoY in data applications revenue and for that reason data will continue to be a big focus for the company this year. Bell Mobility says that its wireless data revenue grew 73% from 2003 to 2004.  Year-over-year wireless data revenue was up 80% for Rogers Wireless, and nearly 100% quarter-over-quarter for seven continuous quarters. The company indicated in its last quarterly financial results that wireless data contributed 7% of overall ARPU. Nadir Mohamed, president and COO of Rogers’ newly formed communications division and former CEO of Rogers Wireless, stated nearly two years ago that the company would hit the 10% wireless data point by the end of 2006. That is now conservative as the company appears poised to hit that mark by the end of 2005 or early in 2006.  On an overall basis, the carriers are reporting as drivers of wireless data revenue business applications such as the BlackBerry, mobile PC cards, and other access services. On the consumer side, SMS, ringtones, gaming and other downloadable content are driving wireless data. Telus Mobility is the only one of the three to report growth and substantial contribution from picture and video messaging, reflecting the company’s heavy focus on multimedia services for the consumer segment.  Despite the proliferation of camera phones, which now outnumber traditional digital cameras on a global basis only three years after their introduction to the market, picture messaging appears to be having little impact. This could be related to the sheer number of text messages being sent compared to picture messages. In the month of February alone, there were 95.5 million text messages sent or approximately 3.4 million per day. The impact of picture messaging and multimedia messaging on the carriers data ARPU levels is likely to change in the near future once the inter-carrier multimedia messaging service (MMS) gateways are opened. This is expected to happen in the near future.  Mobile music and video services are also being eyed by all the carriers as potential drivers of wireless data revenue growth (see article in this issue on new Decima Research data on this subject). The companies are introducing new devices that allow for this type of functionality and this will help, especially among the youth age group, to increase wireless data revenue. The list above is a compilation of information gathered by Report on Wireless from Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility.