Western European mobile operators will enjoy more sustainable revenue growth after abandoning unlimited data plans, cutting churn and growing ARPU, Tariff Consultancy claims.
In a new report, the firm says carriers are now fine-tuning tiered pricing models for mobile data and smartphone plans, which sets them up to cash in on growing subscriber numbers in the eight markets it studies.
Tariff says subscriber numbers were up 4 million year-on-year during 1H10 at the 30 operators it quizzed in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
ARPU increased to €25.40 during the period, as operators grew the proportion of contract customers relative to pre-pay users.
"Overall, there are signs of more rational pricing being adopted, after the initial flurry of 'all you can eat' data plans" Margrit Sessions, managing director of Tariff, said.
Sessions added that more specific data plans have “a greater prospect of making an economic return for the MNO,” noting that “pricing trends are pointing towards a more sustainable business model for most operators.”
Although six of the 30 operators interviewed recorded a decline in subscribers during the first half, Sessions said they had typically shifted focus to high-value customers and had a “high percentage of dormant users.”