America Has a Fat ARPU

3:45 PM -- Subscribers in North America generated the highest monthly ARPU (average revenue per user) from mobile data services worldwide, at $8.90 in the second quarter, according to a new report from Informa Telecoms & Media .

Surprised? Me too, to a degree, I would have expected Japan, or maybe one of the Western European countries, to lead in data averages. Informa attributes the growth to a "near three-fold increase" in 3G users year-on-year, rapid growth in text messaging, and subscriptions to "all-you-can-eat" data packages.

Total data revenues for North America amounted to $6.97 billion in the second quarter, a 66 percent year-on-year increase. Total data revenues in Western Europe rose 35.6 percent year-on-year.

Part of this data boom could be due to the fact that the U.S. has more room to grow with data. Japan, South Korea, and most of Europe all had 3G networks in place before North America.

Nonetheless, it's good news for the major carriers as we hit third-quarter earnings season. It will be interesting to see whether the hype of the moment -- the iPhone -- factors into data growth for the third quarter, with more than 1 million units sold this summer.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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