Mobile carriers gear up for shift in user behaviour
"Western Europe's mobile subscribers racked up 3,077 Exabytes in data traffic by the end of 2012, up 39 per cent compared to 2011. 3G data usage contributed 64 per cent of the total as 4G is still attempting to find its feet. 50 per cent of Western Europe has a 3G data plan and they are making full use of it," said Marina Lu, research associate at ABI Research.
While mobile data usage is gathering pace, a number of other metrics are very much in retreat. In most countries around Europe, minutes of use has contracted up to 4.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Similarly, text messaging was down between -0.5 per cent and -7.8 per cent for those countries QoQ. As ABI Research's Mobile ARPU Market Data has shown, monthly average revenue for Western Europe continued to decline in 3Q-2012. This can be partly attributed to the economic climate but there are structural shifts in mobile end-user behaviour.
Operators like Orange are responding to the threat. Orange will be launching in early 2013 a Rich Content Service, called "Joyn". Joyn is intended to help operators go beyond outdated circuit-switched voice and SMS to embrace IP-based instant messaging, live video sharing, file transfer, and just as crucially, SNS integration. Orange has rolled-out a click-to-call function in collaboration with Facebook, called "Party Call". This service will be available from 1Q 2013 and will allow users to call friends from within Facebook. The carrier will also be launching a VoIP and IP Messaging app called LibOn. "If you can't beat them, then 'Joyn' them," said Jake Saunders, VP of Forecasting. "Excuse the pun, but carriers do need to make sure they stay relevant to their customers in an OTT world."
For more statistics and forecasts, click here.
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