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ARPUs Continue To Fall Globally As Mobile Voice Usage Nears Saturation

by Staff Writer | posted on 04 March 2010

SINGAPORE - March 4, 2010 - Mobile end-user ARPUs (average revenue per user) dropped between 6% to 9% globally, year-over-year in 3Q-2009, compared to 3Q-2008.

India, the world’s second-largest market in terms of subscribers, saw ARPUs dropping more than 10% YoY in the same period, as new operators and the introduction of per-second billing put heavy downward pressure on voice revenues. In Europe the ARPU contraction was in the range of -5 to -8%, with Austria seeing a contraction of more than 9%.

However, ABI Research estimates that ARPU decline is likely to flatten out in developed markets in Europe and North America as mobile data revenue increasingly replaces falling voice revenue.

Globally, the growth in Minutes of Use has also peaked, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of only 1.4% between 2009 and 2015. Much of this growth is driven by developing markets in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

“With the decline in voice revenues, mobile operators must aim to increase the uptake of mobile Internet services and revenues to defend their ARPU,” says analyst Bhavya Khanna. “Mobile data traffic has exploded in the past two years, and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 40% from 2009-2015. Operators can cash in on this demand by enlarging their mobile broadband coverage, thus increasing their user-base. This has started to happen in developed markets such as the UK and US, where mobile Internet service revenues have grown over 12% and 8% YoY respectively.”

ABI Research’s “Mobile Subscriber ARPU, Voice, Messaging, and Data Traffic Forecasts” forecasts global, regional and country-level analysis into end-user level benchmarks quantifying the purchasing and usage habits of mobile cellular customers. It tracks ARPU, usage, and traffic for carriers in more than 27 markets on a quarterly basis.

This forecast database can be found in The Mobile Consumer Research Service which also includes other Market Data products, Research Reports and Research Briefs, ABI Insights, and analyst inquiry support.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers through 27 research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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