Category Archives: South Korea

Usage growth decelerates after COVID – but monetisation improves

Tefficient’s 33rd public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 46 countries from all regions of the world.

In our previous reports for 2020 and 1H 2021 we could see that the pandemic drove mobile data usage – contrary to the belief that all that time we spent at home would offload mobile data traffic to Wi-Fi and fixed broadband.

But the usage backlash is here: During the second half of 2021 the demand for more mobile data slowed. If comparing countries where usage is available for both the first and the second half of the year, most experienced decelerating growth. There were even three countries with a decline in absolute usage: Qatar, Austria and Bahrain.

Continue reading Usage growth decelerates after COVID – but monetisation improves

Back to normal? Or will 5G push the envelope?

Tefficient’s 32nd public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 46 countries – now with Brazil added – from all regions of the world.

In our previous, full year 2020, report we could see that the pandemic drove mobile data usage – contrary to the belief that all that time we spent at home would offload mobile data traffic to Wi-Fi and fixed broadband.

Although the pandemic was still very much present in our daily life, the relaxation of restrictions in the first half of 2021 led to a more normal growth in mobile data usage.

Continue reading Back to normal? Or will 5G push the envelope?

Mobile data usage got a boost when we were immobile

Tefficient’s 31st public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 45 countries from all regions of the world. The pandemic affected us all but although we to a high extent spent the year in our homes, mobile data usage increased in every single country. Mobile data is apparently not just used by people on the move.

Generally speaking, the growth accelerated in 2020; only a few countries experienced a slower growth rate.

Continue reading Mobile data usage got a boost when we were immobile

ARPU doesn’t follow usage upwards. If we can’t monetise gigabytes, then what?

Tefficient’s 27th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 44 countries from all regions of the world. We say hello to the new additions Chile, New Zealand and Qatar.

Usage is growing in every single country, but few are able to turn this into ARPU growth. Too few.

Continue reading ARPU doesn’t follow usage upwards. If we can’t monetise gigabytes, then what?

The gig economy: 58% more gigabytes generated 0.4% more revenue

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.

Continue reading The gig economy: 58% more gigabytes generated 0.4% more revenue

Nine months with 5G: 4.7 million subs – each using 27 GB per month

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.

LG U+ site with Huawei 5G gear on the Namsan park above Seoul (photo: Fredrik Jungermann)

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.

5G subscriber base per month since launch 5th of April (source data: MSIT)
Continue reading Nine months with 5G: 4.7 million subs – each using 27 GB per month

Mobile data consumption continues to grow – a majority of operators now rewarded with ARPU

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.

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?

Continue reading Mobile data consumption continues to grow – a majority of operators now rewarded with ARPU

How South Korea’s operators drive demand for 5G

Reference: Analysis and Go-to-market, 2019

Nowhere else in the world will you find as many 5G users as in South Korea. Nowhere else will you find as many 5G base stations up and running. If there ever was a race to 5G, the Korean government and industry won it.

Seeing is believing: After having dug up, read and compiled all reporting and data on Korea’s mobile business there was no other way forward than to seeing it for ourselves and interview people involved in creating Korea’s ‘5G wonder’.

We spent eight busy days (11-18 July) in Seoul to finish a comprehensive 106-page analysis – full of graphs and photos – with recommendations for European operators.

Continue reading How South Korea’s operators drive demand for 5G