Category Archives: mobile data usage

Mobile data usage: Price and bucket size matter

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 annual usage 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%. Continue reading Mobile data usage: Price and bucket size matter

If you sell Mbytes, why slow your customers down?

We’ve been awaiting Telenor’s official comments to OpenSignal’s new crowdsourced 4G coverage and speed test, but since Telenor hasn’t yet commented it we try to interpret the Norwegian results ourselves.

OpenSignal NO Q1 2015

Continue reading If you sell Mbytes, why slow your customers down?

Tele2: From industry’s black sheep to customer’s best friend?

Frank undercover2Late November last year, Tele2 launched a major transformation campaign in Sweden under the Tele2.0 banner.

The message? Tele2 had questioned all industry practices and concluded that many of them were outright stupid. And consequently stopped or changed them. Continue reading Tele2: From industry’s black sheep to customer’s best friend?

Finland: The land of three thousand megabytes

In our public industry analysis “Peak data” in sight? we use regulator data to identify Finland as the number 1 country in the world when it comes to mobile data usage, beating all the countries which typically are followed closely – USA, South Korea, Japan.

It’s with great pleasure we note that Finland’s third operator, DNA, has followed in its larger competitor Elisa’s footsteps and reported total mobile data traffic. And it is a blast. Too. Continue reading Finland: The land of three thousand megabytes

Rollover: The next big thing for customer retention

RolloverBucket plans – with volume caps on the number of minutes, messages and Mbytes – have been offered by mobile operators for years. Even though the composition has varied over time (e.g. through elements made unlimited), the concept is well known to customers.

Monthly caps have become the standard of our industry. Another standard is to reset those caps at the start of a new month. This means that any balance left – minutes, messages, Mbytes – is voided. Or confiscated – to use the word of John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile USA. Continue reading Rollover: The next big thing for customer retention

“Peak data” in sight

Peak dataThis is tefficient’s 10th public analysis on the development of mobile data usage. For the first time, we see clear signs of saturation.

Operators’ squeeze-out of unlimited customers continues. The growth in smartphone penetration has levelled out in high usage markets. 4G is becoming mainstream. Public Wi-Fi starts to disrupt.

Are we approaching “peak data”?

Download analysis: tefficient industry analysis 7 2014 mobile data usage peak ver 2

The risk of being too ungenerous with data allowance

The Danish mobile market – with 4 operators in a country with less than 6 million inhabitants – has always been very competitive and price-centric. So far, only the market leading incumbent TDC has fared relatively well – but the question is if that is about to change.

Unlike its competitors, TDC has been very restrictive with data allowances. TDC is still even restricting voice use on most of its plans.

Denmark data usage vs SIM 2H 2013

At tefficient, we like regulators who publish not only the total usage volumes of their country, but break it down on the individual operators – like Erhvervsstyrelsen does for Denmark. The graph above compares the SIM market share with the data traffic market share: TDC has 41% of the Danish SIMs but just 14% of the data traffic. ‘3’ is TDC’s antipode: 12% of the SIMs but 38% of Denmark’s mobile data traffic.

Denmark 199 DKK plan contents

A comparison of what a mobile smartphone customer gets for 199 DKK [27 EUR] demonstrates the allowance difference well. What the table doesn’t show is that TDC gives significant multi-user discounts on more expensive plans – and that TDC allows every smartphone user to attach up to 3 data-SIMs under the same allowance without any additional fee. [Telenor has lately partly matched some of this].

Still, the mobile users with an interest for mobile data – undoubtedly the future – seem to prefer TDC’s competitors: The average TDC phone SIM used 250 Mbytes of data per month during 2H 2013. Telenor had 530, Telia 680 and ‘3’ 1170 Mbytes. The average TDC data-only SIM used 650 Mbytes. Telenor had 2600, Telia 4200 and ‘3’ 5100 Mbytes per month.

The competitive context has sharpened further as Telenor and Telia have launched their new, shared, network. A network test – ordered by Telenor – showed that the new Telenor/Telia network is best in Denmark. Marketing has had its point towards TDC.

In what appears to be a reaction, TDC has recently increased some of their data allowances – especially in the multi-user plans.

The case should serve as learning for operators in general: Whereas we’ve spoken much about the risk of being too generous with data allowance it’s perhaps time to address the risk of being too ungenerous?