New data from Juniper Research shows that revenue opportunities for mobile operators, outside of voice, messaging and mobile data termination, will reach $120 billion by 2024, up from $67 billion this year.

The research group has identified a series of growing revenue opportunities for network operators that will help to combat declining revenues from voice and messaging termination. Juniper Research predicts that mobile identity services, carrier billing and cellular IoT connectivity will be the fastest growing sectors for operators.

Juniper assessed 25 leading operators in its ‘Operator Innovation Index’; scoring their level of agility and innovation, the breadth & quality of their solutions, and their anticipated future prospects in the field. It ranked the five leading operators as Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T, Telefonica, and Telenor.

Vodafone was ranked as the most innovative network operator. It scored highly for the level of network virtualization implemented in its network, its involvement in the IoT sector, and its high level of investment in trials of 5G networks.

“Innovation must continue to focus primarily on reducing the capital expenditure on networks through virtualization of core networks,” says research author Morgane Kimmich. “Operators should also continue to explore new revenue streams that leverage the mobile networks they have in place.”

The research predicts that average data traffic generated per user will rise from 49GB in 2019 to over 157GB by 2024. In response, the research urged operators to optimize LTE networks for data services, whilst preparing for future 5G networks.

Juniper also also predicts that growth of future cellular traffic will be driven by increasing usage of video streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu. It predicts that 56% of total cellular data generated by mobile handsets would be attributable to video streaming services, rising from 40% in 2019.