Carriers moved away from subsidizing handsets. Now they subsidize customers’ video consumption.

Mobile operators are abandoning the previously predominant model to subsidize handsets and to, in return, lock customers in on long contracts with elevated service fees.

The death of the model should be mourned by no one since end-users have been given choice and flexibility through a multitude of non-binding, cheaper and flexible service options with generous – or even unlimited – allowances. Operators have seen customer churn decrease as end-users hold onto their handsets longer. As a direct consequence, EBITDA margins have increased.

Investors might still complain about the revenue growth, but measured as percentage of revenue mobile carriers currently produce the best margins on record. Continue reading Carriers moved away from subsidizing handsets. Now they subsidize customers’ video consumption.

Speaker at Wi-Fi World Congress Europe 2017

Analysis & go-to-market 2017

Preparing and presenting “How carriers are using Wi-Fi to boost their businesses” for attendees at the Wi-Fi World Congress Europe in The Hague 2 November.

The presentation covered:

  • The latest stats on mobile data usage per country
  • A reflection over what EU’s Roam Like at Home implementation has meant for Wi-Fi
  • Stats on smartphones’ time distribution between Wi-Fi and cellular per country
  • A comparison between fixed and mobile data usage
  • The unlimited mobile data trend
  • Three reasons why operator Wi-Fi still is relevant – video subsidisation, indoor coverage and cost
  • Operator Wi-Fi deployment stats from around the world
  • Wi-Fi stats from Hong Kong and Korea
  • Key takeouts

The conference organisers summarised the presentation in this live post: LIVE from The Hague: The Wi-Fi vs. Mobile debate

If you’d like to see the full presentation, it has now been made available also on video: https://vimeo.com/242596226

Fast networks, light payload

Ookla, the company behind Speedtest, has just published its Speedtest Global Index for August 2017. As always, it’s interesting.

According to Ookla’s crowdsourced data, the fastest average mobile data experiences in the world are found in:

  1. Norway – 55.72 Mbit/s
  2. Netherlands – 48.30 Mbit/s
  3. Hungary – 46.72 Mbit/s
  4. Singapore – 46.62 Mbit/s

But since all mobile networks are based on shared capacity, we decided to cross correlate Ookla’s speed data with our own mobile data usage data. Is there – or is there not – a relationship between mobile data usage and experienced speed?

The graph below correlates the two (click to enlarge).

Continue reading Fast networks, light payload

Bundles and churn: Nexterday North 2017

Also the 2017 version of Nexterday North was a true ‘anti-seminar’ with futuristic and insightful speakers in a great, sometimes quirky, mix. May Comptel‘s spirit thrive also now that it is a part of Nokia.

This year, tefficient held a keynote presentation focused on bundles and the effect on churn.

Continue reading Bundles and churn: Nexterday North 2017

Apple Watch 3 Cellular, how much data does it eat?

It’s here. I’ve been salivating after the latest Apple Watch 3, with all the bells and whistles. Slick, beautiful, cool and I’ll only need a watch to make/receive calls and text, stream music, etc. This should be easy, I’ll just pre-order the GPS & Cellular version. I’m a UK consumer and have a passion for all things mobile & telco, both home and abroad. Therefore, I decided to find out how Apple Watch 3 offers compare in the UK, USA and Australia. Continue reading Apple Watch 3 Cellular, how much data does it eat?

European 4G – mission accomplished?

Look at the graph below. It should satisfy mobile end-users, operators, regulators, politicians and equipment suppliers.

It shows that all operators have improved 4G coverage to the extent that they all (well almost) reach above 90% of the population by the end of June.

Mission accomplished then? Continue reading European 4G – mission accomplished?

Is high mobile data usage cannibalising fixed?

We have published numerous analyses on mobile data usage. The two latest are:

Our readers also know that we follow operator Wi-Fi closely, see e.g. this piece.

At tefficient, we believe that the world is (or is about to become) mobile-first. But it doesn’t mean that the mobile networks will carry most of the traffic. In contrast, as shown in this post based on OpenSignal data, the regular smartphone user is most often more on Wi-Fi than on mobile networks. And when the smartphone is on Wi-Fi, the traffic volume is often higher since fixed broadband users seldom have to worry about data caps. Mobile operating systems are also set up to prefer (or in the case of upgrades, mandate) Wi-Fi. All Wi-Fi traffic ends up on the fixed access network, not on the mobile access network.

We don’t take a side in the tiring conflict between the cellular camp and the Wi-Fi camp and will continue to argue that it’s not cellular or Wi-Fi, it’s cellular and Wi-Fi. It’s not licensed or unlicensed spectrum, it’s licensed and unlicensed.

For this post we have, for the first time, gathered reported fixed data usage stats from regulators and operators globally to try to answer two questions:

  • Are countries with low mobile data usage having higher fixed broadband usage? I.e. is fixed broadband compensating?
  • Are countries with high mobile data usage having lower fixed broadband usage? I.e. is mobile ‘cannibalising’ fixed?

Continue reading Is high mobile data usage cannibalising fixed?

The luxury of the commodity gigabyte

Data usage, traffic and revenue per GB for 111 operators

This is tefficient’s 16th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data.

It is an add-on to our just-published analysis “More for more” isn’t happening which compares 33 countries.

In this analysis we compare operators. We have ranked 111 of them based on: Continue reading The luxury of the commodity gigabyte

“More for more” isn’t happening

Cherish “more for the same” – it’s the best you get

For the 15th time: tefficient’s data usage and revenue analysis

The usage continued to grow in 2016, but the spread in growth rates has never been greater between markets. Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and, surprisingly, USA grew the slowest whereas Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Austria and France grew the fastest. Continue reading “More for more” isn’t happening

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