The consumption of mobile data is constantly growing. According to ABI Research’s report “Mobile subscriber ARPU, Voice, Messaging, and Data Traffic Forecasts,”  American consumers will use an average of 159 megabytes of da

ta in 2010, compared to 100 megabytes last year.

ABI forecasts more than 55 percent growth in mobile data consumption between 2009 and 2015 in the U.S., and 42 percent annual growth in Europe.

“Mobile voice has already been surpassed by mobile data traffic on some networks, and this trend will only accelerate,” says ABI Research wireless analyst Bhavya Khanna.

“This boom in usage is driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones in these markets.”

Despite this explosion in the use of mobile data, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will not exceed 20 percent in the U.S., due to the popularity of fixed unlimited data contracts among consumers, which have caused revenue to plateau. With the large investment that operators have made in 4G networks, these small returns will lead furnishers to change the way they manage their services.

Despite this, emerging markets still represent an important market. For example, Africa, where despite stiff competition among operators, the growth in calls, by minute, has grown 9 percent between 2009 and 2010.

According to a recent report by Ernst & Young, the growth of mobile data will create another risk for operators: to become less important than phone manufacturers and providers.

Originally published by L'Atelier France.