Updated: Usage up, but monetisation falters. 5G a chance to level up.

Tefficient’s 25th public analysis of the development and drivers of mobile data compares 42 countries from all regions of the world.

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

Data-only is – thanks to FWA – making somewhat of a comeback in many markets as operators have let go of their unlimited-phobia in this segment. The data-only base isn’t growing, but the share of traffic is.

Finland and Taiwan continue to dominate the rest of the world in average data usage per subscription. Even though unlimited represents a dominant share of subscriptions here, growth rates are modest. It’s instead in Mexico, China and Croatia that growth is the fastest. Japan, Sweden and Norway have the slowest growth.

Using mobile data has never been cheaper but the erosion in the revenue per gigabyte varies a lot between markets. China had the fastest erosion, 54%, and Spain the slowest, 13%.

In only a handful of markets, ARPU grew. The usage and revenue development in the world’s most advanced 5G market, South Korea, is suggesting that 5G provides a chance for the industry to level up on monetisation.

Download analysis: Usage up, but monetisation falters. 5G a chance to level up.

Updated version of 25 December containing 1H 2019 data from late reporters Romania, Denmark, the Netherlands and Greece – and FY 2018 data from Canada.