The worldwide market for peer-to-peer and file sharing services is expected to generate nearly $28bn in revenues for carriers and ISPs over the next five years, according to industry analysts.
A market research study released this week by Insight Research found that an ever increasing number of mobile and wireline service providers are offering legitimate file-sharing and downloading services geared to the requirements of end-users.
Peer-to-peer and file sharing services are widely available on fixed-line and mobile networks, but are being exploited more in some regions than others.
Carrier revenues from the use of peer-to-peer and file sharing services in Asia is nearly double that of North American, for example.
Insight Research's market analysis study noted that peer-to-peer and file sharing services are part of a worldwide push by carriers to create new IP-enabled services for consumers and business users.
Consumers of mobile and fixed line telecoms services are adopting peer-to-peer and file sharing services along with other IP-enabled services such as video telephony, fixed-mobile convergence, presence, streaming and location-based services.
"Peer-to-peer and file sharing services have moved into the mainstream and are now well beyond the early days when a few of the early service providers ended up in litigation," said Robert Rosenberg, president of Insight Research.
"Peering and file sharing have now been embraced by fixed-line and wireless operators, and many of the intellectual property issues that led to legal fights have been resolved.
"Media and applications such as ring-tones, games, music and large-file videos are taking off, and we see this market continuing to grow as consumers increasingly rely on the utility of these applications."
- Insight Research report: Peer to Peer & File-Sharing Services Market 2007-2011
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