Global Mobile Data Tariffs Drop 17.7% Year on Year

07 Oct 2013

In its latest Mobile Internet Tariff Survey, ABI Research compares the data tariff of the cheapest 20 markets between Q3-2013 and Q3-2012, and has found that the average mobile Internet price dropped by 17.7%. “The decrease of data price was mainly driven by fierce competition and increased network capacity 4G roll-outs,” comments Marina Lu, Research Associate at ABI Research. “We estimate 38% of the lowest priced data plans worldwide are 4G tariffs compared to 21% a year ago.”

While mobile data pricing is on the decline, data revenue has showed considerable growth due to continued strong adoption and usage of smartphones and increased data applications. The total data revenue will reach $400 billion in 2013 with a YoY increase of 13.4%, and is forecast to grow to $527 billion, accounting for 47% of total service revenue in 2018.

“In many markets, the access and the mobile data quota has become the principle unit of value for the customer,” states Jake Saunders, VP and practice director. “For example, in August 2013, TELUS, based in Canada, launched out new two-year SharePlus data plans—1GB/2GB/3GB of data for US$ 28.6/42.8/47.6 that can be shared among the residents of a household. National calls to mobile and fixed-line numbers are free as is text messaging. While the tariff is a shared plan and voice calls and text are free, TELUS has been able to boost ARPU and overall service revenues in 2Q-2013. Operator AT&T, Rogers, and LG Telecom have also benefitted from similar tariff strategies.

Multi-device Shared Plans represented just 6% of tariff plans, but its share jumped 20% QoQ. Telcos has been steering their customers away from “All You Can Eat Data” tariffs, which shrank 20% QoQ to 12%. Multiple Tiered Data Tariffs, where pricing varies on the amount of traffic sent, is still the most common model mobile telcos offer to their customers (66%).

For more information, please visit ABI Research’s “Mobile Data Price Tracker.” This study is part of the firm’s Mobile ARPU, Mobile Carrier Strategies, and Mobile Handset Go-to-market Strategies Research Services, which also includes other Market Data, Research Analyses, Insights, and analyst inquiry support.

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