Infonetics Research: Mobile operators feeling pressure from OTT and free services


Campbell, CALIFORNIA, December 20, 2012-Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE) Services and Subscribers: Voice, SMS/MMS, and Broadband market size and forecasts report, which tracks mobile services revenue, mobile voice and data average revenue per user (ARPU), and mobile voice and broadband subscribers.

"As we approach mobile saturation, the mobile industry is undeniably shifting from voice to data, and over-the-top voice revenue is shifting away from mobile operators," notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research. "SMS use is fading in places like Japan, the US, the Netherlands, and the UK in favor of free applications over mobile broadband that enable internet browsing, email and, more importantly, video. Those services may be free to subscribers, but handling the traffic is not free to the network operators."

Téral adds: "Service providers are spending billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to handle the skyrocketing traffic; if they don't, they face network outages and subscriber turnover. They're all looking for cost savings and efficiencies. But it comes down to subscribers either being willing to pay a fair price for the services provided or not."

.       Mobile service revenue is increasing year-over-year but the growth rate is decreasing and in some cases not keeping pace with network operator capital expenditures (capex)
.       Despite the rise of revenue from mobile data services, blended ARPU continues to fall or stay flat due to fierce competition, declining voice ARPU, and regulatory tariffs
.       Mobile broadband services are growing fastest, with global revenue on track to nearly double between 2012 and 2016
.       Revenue from services carried on W-CDMA/HSPA networks will exceed revenue from CDMA2000/EV-DO-based services by more than 6-fold by 2016
.       Thanks to its aggressive LTE strategy, Verizon Wireless now accounts for just over 1/3 of the world's 44 million LTE subscribers
.       Asia Pacific is home to around 45% of the world's 1.1 billion mobile broadband subscribers
.       Mobile broadband subscribers are expected to surpass contract voice subscribers by 2015

Infonetics' biannual mobile services report provides worldwide and regional market size, forecasts, analysis, and trends for mobile broadband, SMS/MMS and voice mobile service revenue, ARPU and subscribers by network type (W-CDMA/HSPA, CDMA2000/EV-DO, TD-SCDMA, and LTE). The report features a Mobile Broadband Service Tracker following deployments by country, technology, and subscribers. To buy the report, contact Infonetics:

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.       Infonetics Overall Market Trends & Forecasts research brief:
.       Operators stepping up equipment spending in 2013, led by Asia; growth returns to Europe
.       Telecom growth rate still outpacing GDP growth
.       LTE jumps 30% in Q3, NSN doubles LTE revenue; mobile gear set for growth in 2013
.       Operators are deploying SON in LTE and 3G networks alike; name top vendors
.       3G drives femtocell market up 13% in 3Q12; Samsung #1 in revenue and shipments
.       Outdoor small cell backhaul a 5-year $5 billion opportunity
.       Japan's mobile market grows 3-fold on the wings of LTE, China puts 3G first
.       A first: Increased ARPU now a top driver for LTE upgrades
.       Small cell is the buzz but DAS is the biz, say operators in latest Infonetics survey
.       Femtocells offer opportunity to put the mobile network at the heart of the home network

Download Infonetics' market research brochure, events brochure, publication calendar, report highlights, tables of contents and more at
.       3G and 4G (LTE, WiMAX) Broadband Devices and Subscribers Market Report
.       Mobile Backhaul Wireline Equipment Vendor Leadership: Global Service Survey
.       Service Provider Capex, Opex, Revenue, and Subscribers Database
.       Telecommunications Equipment Vendor Leadership Scorecard

N. America (West), Asia, Latin America: Larry Howard,, +1 408-583-3335
N. America (East), Texas, Midwest: Scott Coyne,, +1-408-583-3395
Europe, Middle East, Africa: George Stojsavljevic,, +44-755-488-1623
Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan:

Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete effectively. View Infonetics' About Us slides at