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13 April 2021
Tefficient’s 30th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data ranks 105 operators based on average data usage per SIM, total data traffic and revenue per gigabyte in the full year of 2020.
The data usage per SIM grew for basically every operator. 39% could turn that data usage growth into ARPU growth.
39% is a bit lower than in our previous reports and the pandemic is of course to blame when restrictions and WFH more or less put an end to travelling and commuting and shifted traffic from mobile to fixed networks. But as not all homes have access to fixed broadband – or good enough fixed broadband to support both remote work and remote schooling – mobile data stepped in. 38% global growth in mobile data traffic is actually quite remarkable given the pandemic – and that 39% of operators could grow ARPU in that context is impressive. This analysis names the winners.
39% of operators weren’t enough to keep the overall mobile service revenue from falling, though. It fell 2% in 2020.
39% of operators could turn mobile data usage growth into ARPU growth.
This year, we won't complain about it. Given the pandemic, it's actually impressive 🤍. https://t.co/uOR52h5G9H
The winners to the right in the Christmas tree graph. pic.twitter.com/tViL3wZuUd
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) April 13, 2021
7 December 2020
Tefficient’s 29th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 44 countries from all regions of the world.
Although a pandemic hit the world in 1H 2020, usage grew in every single country. But the growth was unevenly distributed – some countries grew faster than before while others grew slower than before.
And as a likely consequence of the pandemic, few countries were capable of turning usage growth into ARPU growth? Read on.
Finland, Taiwan, Bahrain and Latvia lead the world in average data usage per subscription. But it is Croatia that leads the world in usage growth; 128% between the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2020. The Netherlands, Australia and Norway had the slowest growth.
Data-only continues to define the average mobile data usage although the share of base is limited. In all but four reported markets, data-only’s share of total traffic grew – a trend that started in 2019, before Corona. We attribute this to FWA.
Using mobile data has never been cheaper but the erosion in the revenue per gigabyte varies a lot between markets. Croatia had the fastest erosion, 58%, and India (!) the slowest, 13%.
Jingle bells, jingle bells… This year's Christmas tree from @tefficient is so far just showing six countries that could turn mobile data usage growth into ARPU growth: India, Turkey, Lithuania, France, Finland and Norway (just). Worse due to corona? Nah. https://t.co/CPdTmPVBOs pic.twitter.com/IPhPL5QLS5
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) December 7, 2020
2 September 2020
Tefficient’s 28th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data ranks 116 operators based on average data usage per SIM, total data traffic and revenue per gigabyte in the first half of 2020.
The data usage per SIM grew for basically every operator. 42% could turn that data usage growth into ARPU growth.
It’s a bit lower than in our previous reports and COVID-19 is to blame; many operators did report negative revenue development in Q2 2020 when travelling stopped and many prepaid subscriptions expired.
Mobile data traffic continued to grow, though: +40%. Although operators in certain markets were giving mobile data away to mitigate the negative consequences of lockdowns, most of the global traffic growth is true, underlying, growth. Data usage actually grew faster in Q2 2020 than in Q1 2020 even though lockdowns mainly affected Q2.
Our industry demonstrated resilience, but now needs to fill the data monetisation toolbox with more or sharper tools.
International trend 1H 2020: ARPU seems to increase with an increase in data usage. Customers to operators in the upper left corner use a lot of mobile data albeit relatively low ARPU. https://t.co/CVWsr1RGdc pic.twitter.com/7hjOYUYqfT
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) September 7, 2020
2 July 2020
Tefficient’s 27th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 44 countries from all regions of the world.
Finland and Taiwan continue to dominate the rest of the world in average data usage per subscription. Even though unlimited represents a dominant share of subscriptions here, usage growth rates are modest. It’s instead in Mexico where growth is the fastest. Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Japan have the slowest usage growth.
Using mobile data has never been cheaper but the erosion in the revenue per gigabyte varies a lot between markets. Mexico had the fastest erosion, 50%, and Norway the slowest, 14%.
ARPU grew in only a handful of markets although the gigabyte consumption never been higher. If we can’t monetise gigabytes, then what?
5G helped Korean operators to re-establish growth, but will it help you?
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) July 2, 2020
14 April 2020
5G monetisation lessons from China and Korea
Tefficient’s 26th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data ranks 105 operators based on average data usage per SIM, total data traffic and revenue per gigabyte in 2019.
The data usage per SIM grew for each and every operator. 44% could turn that data usage growth into ARPU growth. Identify the skilled minority that delivered on “more for more” in our 33 page deep dive into mobile data monetisation.
In this particular analysis, we take 5G monetisation lessons from China and Korea. Surely 5G could increase data usage – but what happens to ARPU?
Right: More for more
Left: More for less
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) April 14, 2020
3 December 2019
Our 25th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 42 countries. Usage grows in every country, but few are able to turn this into ARPU growth. Data-only is making a comeback in many markets.
Finland and Taiwan dominate the rest of the world in data usage per subscription. Even though unlimited dominates, growth rates are modest there. It’s in Mexico, China and Croatia that growth is the fastest. Japan, Sweden and Norway have the slowest growth.
Using mobile data has never been cheaper but the erosion in the revenue per gigabyte varies a lot. China had the fastest erosion, 54%, and Spain the slowest, 13%.
The usage and revenue development in the world’s most advanced 5G market, South Korea, is suggesting that 5G provides a chance for the industry to level up on monetisation.
Figure 8 from https://t.co/QF2G2wwadT: Data-only a significant driver of average mobile data usage. The appetite that operators show for #FWA seems to make them let go of their unlimited-phobia within the data-only segment. pic.twitter.com/5E6EYOaSPA
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) December 3, 2019
6 September 2019
Taiwan: Unlimited is so last year – Korea: 5G boosts usage
Tefficient’s 24th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data ranks 115 operators based on average data usage per SIM, total data traffic and revenue per gigabyte in 1H 2019.
The data usage per SIM grew for all; everybody climbed our Christmas tree. More than half of the operators could turn that data usage growth into ARPU growth – for the first time a majority is in green. Read our analysis to see who delivered on “more for more” – and who didn’t.
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) September 6, 2019
4 July 2019
Mobile data usage is still growing in all of the 39 countries covered by this analysis. Two countries stand out – China and India.
But China and India aren’t yet challenging the usage top – where the two unlimited superpowers, Finland and Taiwan, still reign.
Data-only remains a key driver for overall usage and new figures from Czech Republic, Latvia, Finland and Austria add insight to the extreme usage pattern of fixed wireless access.
While 4G’s impact on usage deteriorates, 5G is initially another story. In May, the average Korean 5G subscription used 26 GB of 5G data. During the same month, the average 4G subscription used 8 GB of 4G data.
There is a prerequisite for continued data usage growth, though: The total revenue per gigabyte can’t be too high – like in Canada and Belgium.
Total mobile service revenue per GB: Belgium with the highest revenue per consumed GB in 2018 (Canada's latest data from 2017). Greece the only country (of 39) below 1 GB per SIM per month. India with lowest revenue per GB. Finland with highest usage. https://t.co/09uZ0dqKLJ pic.twitter.com/K5GTXgtGc1
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) July 3, 2019
29 March 2019
- Which operator has the world’s highest data usage?
- Which operator carries the most data traffic in the world?
- Which operator earns the most – or the least – per GB?
This is tefficient’s 22nd public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data. We have ranked 90 reporting or reported operators based on average data usage per SIM, total data traffic and revenue per gigabyte in 2018.
The data usage per SIM grew for all operators; everybody climbed the Christmas tree. 46% of operators could turn that data usage growth into ARPU growth – 54% could not. Read our analysis to see who delivered on “more for more” and who floated with the “more for less” stream.
22 January 2019
This is Tefficient’s 21st public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data.
Mobile data usage is still growing in all of the 39 countries covered by this analysis. But there are two countries that stand out – China and India. In the first half of 2018, these two ‘developing’ nations have overtaken several mature markets when it comes to average data consumption per subscription.
But China and India aren’t yet challenging the top – where the two unlimited superpowers, Finland and Taiwan, still reign.
Data-only remain a key driver for overall usage and new figures from Austria and Finland add insight to the extreme usage pattern of fixed wireless access. Since the baby steps on 5G are taken in that FWA segment, it’s an interesting pointer to the future.
But, more importantly, we show the usage vs. ARPU chart.
Our final mobile data usage and revenue report is now published – with newly reported data from e.g. Denmark, Romania. Iceland, Greece, Canada and the UK. https://t.co/50Jf0ev7Pp This graph shows the coupling between average data usage and ARPU. In essence, there's none. pic.twitter.com/Kt3kwoKtXb
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) January 22, 2019
10 September 2018
Tefficient’s 20th public analysis on the development and drivers of mobile data follows on our country-focused analysis published in July.
In our latest analysis we have ranked 115 operators based on:
- Average data usage per SIM
- Total data traffic
- Revenue per gigabyte
The data usage per SIM grew for all operators. And it grew quickly. But what happened to ARPU? Could operators monetise the data usage growth?
Our Christmas tree graph visualises those that delivered on “more for more” – and those that are just followed the “more for less” stream.
10 July 2018
Tefficient’s 19th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data shows that mobile data usage is still growing in all of the 36 countries covered by this analysis. Unlimited moves the needle. Finland tops the charts – but it’s India that leads the growth league.
Data-only is a very important driver of usage. Austria is now the clear world leader in fixed-line substitution. In Korea, the share of data traffic on 4G has now effectively reached 100% with a 4G penetration of 80%. The country is ready for 5G.
A prerequisite for continued data usage growth is that the total revenue per gigabyte is low. This is not the case in Greece, Canada and Belgium. The total revenue per gigabyte there is roughly 20 times higher than in Finland and more than 35 times higher than in India.
In this analysis we identify the ten countries where the more-for-more initiatives of operators buck the general more-for-less trend.
21 December 2017
The data usage per SIM grew for all operators. But what happens to ARPU? In an upfront way, our new Christmas tree graph visualises the operators that are delivering on more-for-more – and those that are just following the more-for-less stream.
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) December 21, 2017
19 December 2017
Mobile data usage is still growing in all of the countries covered by this analysis. The growth rates are very different and so are the usage levels. Finland tops the charts in usage – but not in growth.
Data-only is a clear driver of usage. Austria emerges as the fixed-line substitution leader.
A prerequisite for continued data usage growth is that the total revenue per gigabyte is low. This is not the case in Greece, Canada, Belgium, Germany and Czechia. The total revenue per gigabyte here is roughly 20 times higher than in Finland. Of these countries, Canada stands out with its combination of low data usage and high ARPU.
In this analysis we introduce the Christmas tree visualisation to see where the more-for-more initiatives of operators can balance the more-for-less erosion.
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) December 19, 2017
13 July 2017
This 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:
- Average data usage per customer
- Total data traffic
- Revenue per gigabyte
If you think gigabytes are becoming a commodity, you are just partly right. End-users love what they can do with data – but even if they are willing to pay for it there are limits to their loyalty.
11 July 2017
The mobile data 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.
See the top 33 of the world in our 15th analysis of data usage and revenue. See what data-only and 4G LTE means for usage.
And see who has the highest – and lowest – revenue per gigabyte and per SIM.
19 December 2016
The mobile data usage continued to grow in 2016, but the growth rates varied much. Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Hungary grew the slowest whereas Lithuania, Turkey, Austria and Korea grew the fastest.
In Lithuania, Austria and Korea, premium unlimited plans were introduced and the effect on data usage has been similar to what our previous analyses identified for Finland and Latvia.
The data usage top list is dominated by operators that offer unlimited: The world leader had an average usage per SIM of 9.9 GB per month.
26 September 2016
We also update you on Wi-Fi usage and deployment. You might be surprised to see that the wide adoption of 4G LTE and an increasing use of mobile data meant more Wi-Fi, not less.
29 June 2016
Which country had the highest mobile data usage in 2015? The fastest usage growth? The lowest and highest revenue per Megabyte? How does it affect usage? How are data-only and 4G LTE adoption rates affecting usage?
Which operator leads the world?
Find the answers to these mobile data usage and monetisation questions in tefficient’s 13th public analysis on the topic.
28 January 2016
Why should an operator complement their customers’ experience of mobile data with Wi-Fi?
To improve customer loyalty?
This analysis – covering 22 mobile operators in 7 markets (Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Taiwan, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden) – makes an attempt to once and for all conclude if Wi-Fi is the last piece of the customer retention puzzle.
21 January 2016
Which operator is in the top when it comes to mobile data usage?
Which country charges the most for mobile data?
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) January 21, 2016
Find the answers to these and other important mobile data usage and monetisation questions in tefficient’s 12th public analysis on the topic.
24 June 2015
Mobile data usage continues to grow: +58% for the markets in this analysis.
In some high usage markets like the US and Singapore, we however see signs of saturation with growth of just about 20%. But it’s not a general trend: In other high usage markets – Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Japan and Ireland – the mobile data usage grew 60 to 80%.
In the two low usage countries Germany and the Netherlands a Mbyte effectively costs 11-14 times more than in the European countries with the lowest effective Mbyte price.
11 June 2015
Decoupled, non-binding, unsubsidised: A game changer?
Our analysis shows that mature market mobile operators on average use 15-20% of service revenue on subscriber acquisition and subscriber retention cost (SAC/SRC). In most cases without growing.
Consequently, we examine the success of the operators who – in order to reduce SAC/SRC and improve margin – are challenging the mature market norm with binding contracts with coupled, subsidised, equipment.
22 December 2014
For the first time – in our 10th public analysis on the development of mobile data usage –we see clear signs of saturation.
Unlimited squeeze-out. Smartphone penetration levelling out. 4G is mainstream. Public Wi-Fi disrupts.
Are we approaching “peak data”?
8 December 2014
Wi-Fi has become a tool in the operator toolbox. In this analysis – our third on the subject – we show how telcos, cellcos and cablecos use Wi-Fi to strengthen existing business.
Time is right for operators to include Wi-Fi into a combined connectivity experience for customers – a carrier-grade experience.
8 September 2014
Is a recurring upgrade promise – often without any fee – a good idea? Take-up has been great, but it’s only now the pioneering operators need to start delivering on this promise.
19 June 2014
For the first time, we have combined regulator reported data with operator reported data from around the world allowing comparisons between markets as well as in markets. We also present a new number 1 on the country top list.
19 May 2014
What happened to the MVNO businesses when Orange, SFR and Bouygues launched their sub-brands Sosh, Red and B&YOU in preparation for the announced launch of Free mobile.
21 March 2014
This is our fourth analysis on subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) and subscriber retention cost (SRC). It shows that much has happened in 2013: Average unit SAC and SRC have decreased significantly. How come – and what has it led to?
Some of our older analyses are still available:
Why more operators should care about alternative smartphone OSs 30 January 2014
Mobile data usage: The global top list 18 December 2013
How 4G LTE became mainstream (for some) 15 November 2013
Invest – and conquer? 8 October 2013
How six months contracts changed mobile in Belgium and Denmark 13 September 2013
Quad-play: A competitive necessity? 5 July 2013
Mobile data demand saturated? Forget it. 16 June 2013
Top MBoU operators worldwide 10 June 2013
Top LTE operators worldwide 31 May 2013
Top FTTH/B operators worldwide 24 May 2013
Operator Wi-Fi booms 14 April 2013
Why operators should refrain from handset sales 27 March 2013
SRC increases to 98% of SAC – do the positive effects continue after 100%? 11 March 2013
Why mass marketing is inefficient when launching LTE 4 March 2013
Time for Korea and Estonia to harvest 12 February 2013