On the upside, there's plenty of healthy growth in European mobile broadband, which is taking the edge off the declines in voice revenues somewhat.
One little data point I do find a bit strange is tucked away on page 14 of the results release. Apparently, the EMAPA region (Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East & Pacific) has seen particularly spectacular increases in mobile data revenues, more than doubling compared to the same period in 2007. But what's really odd is that for Africa & Middle East, data revenues now exceed messaging , by £127m to £107m. That compares with £48m vs £88m last year. Given that number is mostly made up of Egypt, South Africa [Vodacom] and India, I guess that indicates a huge ramp-up of 3G modems at Vodacoms, possibly aided by mobile payments.
The release says "Strong growth in data revenue was driven by the increased penetration of mobile PC connectivity devices, as the absence of fixed line alternatives makes mobile data a more attractive offering. Data revenue also benefited from the launch of South Africa’s first high speed uplink packet access (‘HSUPA’) and the launch of Vodafone M-Pesa/Vodafone Money Transfer service in Tanzania"
I don't think I've seen any other operators reporting 3G dongle revenues > SMS, so that's definitely a first if true. Vodacom reports its detailed group financial report next Monday, so maybe we'll get some deeper insight.