Mobile Web usage jumped in August: Opera

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Global mobile data traffic continued to surge in August, raising the prospect of increasing demand for battered telecom equipment makers.

The largest Internet browser firm Opera Software ASA said on Thursday global data traffic through its mobile browser rose 10 percent in August from July -- the fastest pace in five months.

The mobile Internet market has boomed since 2007 introduction of Apple Inc’s iPhone.

Wireless operators are keen on raising revenue from Internet browsing and the social networking boom as revenue from traditional voice calls declines, but they are facing increasingly congested networks.

Telecoms gear makers Nokia Siemens, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent -- which have suffered in recent years from aggressive pricing by Asian rivals -- are looking for rising data traffic as a lead into new orders.

Increasing pressure on telecom networks is helping browsers like Opera, which packages up to 90 percent of the data to save network bandwidth.

Opera has increased its lead over closest rivals -- iPhone, Nokia and Blackberry browsers -- in the last few weeks and controls 24.8 percent of the market in September so far, according to Web analytics firm StatCounter.

The Blackberry, iPhone and Nokia browsers all have 17 to 18 percent market shares.

Opera has 66.5 million users of its Opera Mini browser, who all access the Internet through Opera’s servers -- giving the firm usage data -- and who generated 489 million megabytes of data traffic for operators worldwide last month.

Editing by Hans Peters