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Vodafone txt loses revenue crown to data

winds up 2010 on a high

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Vodafone ended 2010 on a high note, with an end-of-year profit prediction pushed to £12bn by growth in India and Turkey.

This is only an interim statement, covering the last three months of 2010, but shows that Vodafone is holding its own in Europe (where revenues dropped very slightly, though the company blames exchange rates) and is growing fast in India and Turkey. It also shows how data is becoming increasingly important as a revenue stream.

It's the first time that data revenue has outranked messaging (SMS & MMS) across the group. In the majority of markets messaging still brings in more money, but the difference is small and now offset by those places where messaging never became part of the culture.

In the UK, a place where txt is almost a second language, mobile surfers paid £195m for their connectivity over the quarter while their texting colleagues shelled out £279m over the same period.

Both numbers pale against the £645m that was spent on voice calls, but that voice revenue is declining - down £3m compared to last year, while messaging is up £30m and data £45m.

Vodafone is working hard to make more money out of that data traffic too, and reports having launched tiered pricing in eight of its markets across Europe.

With US network Verizon (in which Vodafone has a minority stake) about to launch the iPhone and an LTE network, more revenue is expected from there too. All of which contributes to the increased year-end prediction which now stands at £11.8-£12.2bn. ®

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