Those of you that read our series of international mobile data analyses know that Finland is the country with the highest average mobile data consumption in the world.
Truly unlimited mobile data is a key explanation to this: 66% of Finland’s mobile subscriptions (excl. M2M) had unlimited mobile data in June. As a direct consequence of this Finns have developed a readiness to try out new apps and services at any location and at any time – as they never have to consider the data consumption or the associated cost. The habit of ‘Wi-Fi hunting’ is not spread in Finland.
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.
The data is gathered from December 2017 to February 2018 and covers about 380 million readings from about 12000 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 LTE capable devices have been connected to 4G LTE. OpenSignal calls this 4G availability.
Fresh milk and mobile data seem to share the same bacteria problem. Even if treated carefully, it eventually goes sour. To protect consumers from a possibly unpleasant experience, dairy producers put a best before date on milk cartons. Mobile operators go further – they revoke unused mobile data before those gigabytes have become a health hazard.
But consumers have started to question if unused data really is unhealthy and deserve a similar down-the-drain treatment as sour milk. Clever mobile operators realised that they can offer rollover data. One of the pioneers globally is New Zealand’s 2degrees. In this video they ask what is happening to all that leftover data.
OpenSignal, the company that crowdsources mobile speed and availability experiences from smartphone users worldwide, released its latest State of LTE report today.
It is based on 59 billion measurements and shows that 4G LTE speeds in the fastest countries are in a holding pattern where they don’t increase. The availability of 4G LTE is still improving though, and five countries have now joined the 90% of time club. Three months ago, that club only had two members.
The research insights are based on a survey of 14000 Android and iOS smartphone users between 15 and 65 in fourteen countries: Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the UK and the US.
To prepare this consumer research, we worked with Ericsson ConsumerLab to analyse and benchmark the mobile data strategies of operators globally. When we had the research results, we jointly reviewed them.
There are several ways to measure network performance and the results of published tests can therefore differ.
Mobile operators have a tendency to criticise test results when they have lost and promote results when they have won.
An example of this is the recent drivetest by Connect Magazine in Switzerland as performed by P3 Group. Whereas Salt seems furious – the CEO-commented release is an interesting read – Sunriseuses the results in its marketing.
Who will be the first operator – anywhere – to complain about a test methodology after having won?
What differs even more than the network test results is the perception of network quality. For an operator it is much more important that its customers are having the perception of the best network than actually having the best network. Continue reading Who has the best network in the Nordics?→
We didn’t think it would play out as well as it did. We predicted that Verizon would dump bucket plans and go all-in on unlimited. It happened. Verizon doesn’t call its unlimited plan “Kick the bucket”, but still. We predicted that the “control & zero-rate content” bundle would fail in the light of unlimited and the clouds have never been darker for AT&T with regards to its thirteen-months-have-elapsed-but-yet-to-be-approved attempt to take control over Time Warner. We also predicted that BT and Deutsche Telekom would eat crow and admit that their copper-embracing access strategy wasn’t future-proof just to realise that they now need to speed up to meet the demand for FTTH – or be run over by competition.
We weren’t right on everything – Vodafone didn’t pause 5G plans to focus on unlicensed spectrum; the company just asked the industry to sober up – but we are nevertheless so encouraged that we for 2018 present seven undaunted predictions:
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.