Mobile dating services will be worth $1bn by 2012, according to new research from analyst firm Juniper Research.
Nearly 40 million people around the world currently use mobile phone dating services, and Juniper believes that this figure will rise to 260 million in five years.
"These firms are increasing the deployment of mobile applications to complement and enhance their existing offerings.
"The increasing proliferation of 3G handsets means that companies are increasingly confident of introducing converged services at the outset."
The research found that the majority of users are in Japan and India, the latter having particularly strong growth potential given the lack of fixed internet connections and the relative popularity of mobile internet use.
Juniper estimates that Indian users will make up a quarter of the online dating population by 2012.
However, heavy pricing regimes are holding back services in many countries. Pre-pay customers are being hit particularly hard, as data costs become a key factor in service take-up.
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