Category Archives: fixed data usage

Unlimited moves the needle – but it’s when mobile addresses slow fixed internet that something happens

New! Mobile data usage and revenue for 36 countries

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.


Download analysis: Unlimited moves the needle – but it’s when mobile addresses slow fixed internet that something happens


Updated version 18 July – Czechia wasn’t displayed for 2017 in Figure 1, 2 and 5 – now corrected

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

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?