Though mobile voice revenues continue to decline across all regions, the aggregate mobile service revenues for 2014 increased 2.8% year-on-year (YOY) globally, mainly driven by the robust data services. The gap between 4G and 3G monthly ARPU will widen over the period 2014 to 2020, according to ABI Research. The competition will drive down the ARPU for mobile operators, but the 4G ARPU will hold up better as a result of the higher data consumption stimulated by 4G users.
In 2015, 4G data traffic has started to dominate the total traffic consumption, and the annual global 4G data usage in 2020 will exceed 224.7 Exabytes, 79% of the total data traffic. “To propel data traffic usage and maintain sustainable profitability, mobile operators are sparing no effort to migrate customers to 4G networks through new favorable tariff plans, and convenient and quick update services,” comments Marina Lu, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “In addition, the richer content services including HD video, lossless music, and high-speed games are in great demand, boosting data service revenues.”
In our profitability analysis, China Mobile holds the first position in terms of gross profit for 2014, followed by Verizon and AT&T respectively. “During its first full year of LTE commercialization, China Mobile has successfully transformed from a voice-centric to a more data-centric operation. Leveraging an accelerated 4G development plan to monetize data traffic services has been a huge boost,” adds Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director. In the United States, the gross profit for Verizon was 3% higher for 2014 than 2013, driven by the growing data service revenues. To boost data consumption, Verizon has replaced “Shared Everything” plans with “More Everything plans,” which encourages more data-enabled devices being added to existing accounts.
The Mobile Carrier Revenue and Profit and Mobile Data Traffic & Usage Market Data products provide a robust source of financial and operational benchmarks for regional and mobile carrier analysis. These findings are part of ABI Research’s Mobile Deployments, CAPEX, and Traffic Market Research.
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