The 100th edition of the Tariff Trend SnapShot series of Mobile Trends, providing an insight into key changes and trends over the past five years, since the original SnapShot first published in October 2012.
Over the past five years the researcher has tracked and analyzed the key changes in mobile services worldwide. The Tariff Trend SnapShot 100 edition provides an opportunity to review and identify the changes that have taken place over the period including:
- The impact of the disruptive MNO – with disruptive MNOs in Mexico, India and France ensuring that all rivals follow their price points with additional service bundles
- The impact of MNO consolidation – with MNO consolidation so far making little change in average pricing, but producing a reduction in entry level rates
- Rapid Smartphone penetration – with smartphones increasing penetration rates around the world, even in emerging markets with the sub-USD $100 smartphone
- The rise of the Integrated service bundle – with integrated bundles (calls, SMS & mobile data) being available across all markets driven by the smartphone
- The rapid adoption of LTE 4G services worldwide – with LTE becoming the standard data service in most markets with no distinction between 4G and 3G pricing
- The blurring between Pre Pay & Post Pay services – In many markets, such as Italy, France & the USA, the rise of the no contract (or as T-Mobile USA describes it, the “un-carrier”) package with no handset subsidy has erased the distinction between Pre Pay and Post Pay services.
- The decline in disruptive pricing, mostly – worldwide – There has been a trend towards more stability in pricing, with more rational pricing strategies adopted, with Jio Reliance (India) increasing rates.
- The use of mobile content – Mobile content is being provided as a differentiator in both Emerging Markets and Mature Markets, on top of an Integrated Bundle of Calls, SMS & Mobile Data, with content including sports content, film & TV and music streaming.
- The rise of Premium Bundles – As Integrated Bundles become more widespread, MNOs are seeking to differentiate their services by adding additional services, including international call or roaming bundles.
- Roaming services are becoming more like home – Although the EU has taken the lead in reducing roaming rates close to domestic rates, other regions around the world have also followed suit.
- Pricing changes include – The introduction of low cost smartphones worldwide, and the reduction in the amount of handset subsidies with usage bundles, remain the two key trends driving pricing over the past 5 year period.
For the next five years, the researcher believes future trends will be driven by four main trends that are already apparent including:
- Smartphone penetration levels – which will continue to rise in emerging markets with low cost devices becoming the standard device to access the internet.
- The distinction between Post Pay and Pre Pay services will continue to narrow – as usage bundles, tailored for different user segments and content will become more widespread driven by analytics.
- There will be a debate whether Post Pay 24 month contracts can survive as standard – with some countries, particularly in Africa, still providing a Post Pay service based on a 24 month contract term as standard, it seems unlikely that a 24 month term will remain as the standard offer.
- In Europe and also the USA - roaming and international usage bundles are being integrated with bundles as a source of differentiation, but as mobile markets mature over time, roaming and international services are set to be incorporated into premium bundles in other markets.
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