Consequently, subscriptions to free services are expected to decline steadily as a proportion of total subscriptions, Delaney said in an interview Wednesday. Ovum noted that service providers currently can tap into two fast-growing sources of UM revenue: service subscription fees and fees from the increased usage of other network services such as voice mail access.
But Delaney cautioned that although reasons for offering such services are compelling, the current market is very complex and very confusing with a lot of different factors affecting it.
Nevertheless Ovum, its North American office in Boston, forecasted worldwide UM service revenue to reach $31 billion by 2007. Of the total revenue forecast, almost $13 billion will come directly from service subscription fees, $16.5 billion from increased usage of other revenue-generating network services, and $1.6 billion will be attributed to advertisers. Ovum's report also said there will be about 218 million active users, including about one quarter subscribing to free services, by 2007, up from a total free and fee-based subscribers of 5.5 million in 2001.