Lobbyists coined the term “the race to 5G”. If there ever was such a race, South Korea won it as unlike other markets there are – read on – many reported numbers to support a leadership claim. With 4.7 million 5G subscriptions by the end of 2019, 7% of Korea’s mobile subscribers used 5G just nine months after launch.
The subscriber take-up has been fast, but not linear. In August, September and October, when Samsung launched three new 5G smartphones (Note 10, A90 and Fold) and LG updated its V50 smartphone, 5G sales was exceptionally fast. During November and December no new smartphones were introduced and South Korea missed the expectation of 5 million 5G subscribers by year end 2019.
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.
Speaking of which, we take a closer look at the development of one of the unlimited powerhouses –Taiwan. Are people getting tired of mobile data?
We also provide insight into South Korea– the world’s leading 5G market. Just how much effect did 5G have on the data usage?
This is our fourth comparison of the mobile network experiences in the Nordics based on performance data from Opensignal. There are more details and background is the previous (one–two–three) blogs.
This time the data is gathered from March to May 2019. The data has not been published by OpenSignal but has been shared with us through Opensignal’s analyst program.
The graph below ranks the fourteen operators in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland after how large proportion of time 4G capable devices have been connected to 4G. Opensignal calls this 4G availability.
Final! Mobile data usage and revenue for 39 countries
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. The growth is incredibly fast and driven by 4G.
When we once again dive into OpenSignal‘s crowdsourced stats from the Nordics it is to see if something changed with regards to the network experiences of mobile customers in the region.
This is the third time we address this. The first blog – with data from the autumn of 2017 – contains all the background and reasoning. It was followed up by another blog based on data from the winter of 2017/18.
This time the data is gathered from March to May 2018 and covers about 490 million readings from about 15000 unique devices. The data has not been published by OpenSignal but has been shared with us through OpenSignal’s analyst program.
The graph below ranks the fourteen operators in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland after how large proportion of time 4G capable devices have been connected to 4G. OpenSignal calls this 4G availability.
Two years ago, telcos were still proudly reporting their progress in utilisation of their own public Wi-Fi hotspots for cost efficient offloading of mobile data. Public Wi-Fi was also positioned as an investment in a better customer experience – especially in public indoor environments. Telcos that were late with 4G – such as in Taiwan and Belgium – could utilise their public Wi-Fi to bridge the transition from 3G to 4G.
American carriers and uncarriers are embracing fixed wireless as one of the first use cases that 5G will solve. Verizon finally lifted the curtain on its fixed wireless offering yesterday: Verizon 5G Home. October 1 it will be available for 50 USD per month to existing Verizon customers in certain areas in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
T-Mobile’s 5G will – to use their own words – have more ‘breadth and depth‘ than Verizon’s. With 5G, T-Mobile will position itself within fixed wireless for the first time:
“51% of Americans have only one high-speed broadband option – no choice at all! The combined company will create a viable alternative for millions by enabling mobile connections that rival broadband, driving prices lower and improving service.”
The only caveat when it comes to T-Mobile’s ambition is that it is conditional. This will happen if T-Mobile and Sprint are allowed to merge – a decision not yet made.
This is tefficient’s 19th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data.
Mobile data usage is still growing in all of the countries covered by this analysis. But the growth rates are very different and so are the usage levels. Unlimited moves the needle. Finland tops the charts in usage – 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 again use the Christmas tree visualisation to identify the countries where the more-for-more initiatives of operators buck the general more-for-less trend.