Despite the many attractions of mobile data, mobile phone users in most countries in the Asia-Pacific region are still content to use basic messaging and voice services, according to recent research.
With the exception of early adopters in Japan and South Korea, almost three-quarters of mobile data revenues in the region came from simple text messaging services last year, research consultancy Frost and Sullivan reported.
Mobile operators are missing out on profits because many of the estimated one billion mobile phone subscribers in the region simply don't know about, or don't understand how to use, advanced data services like mobile video and music downloads.
Others cannot afford to buy the more sophisticated phones needed to use these services properly.
"The lack of consumer education and killer applications, coupled with the limited availability of advanced and affordable handsets in most Asia-Pac countries, are inhibiting the adoption of richer applications," said Janice Chong, industry manager at Frost and Sullivan in Singapore.
Mobile data adoption has also been hit by the delayed introduction of 3G services in China, the world's largest mobile phone market.
There will be huge demand for 3G when it is introduced in China next year, researchers believe.
More than five million subscribers will sign up in the first year alone, growing to almost 85 million by the third year, according to Beijing-based Norson Telecom Consulting.
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