Re-imagining the mobile value proposition

GigaOm reports on trends in data use on mobile devices, citing research from Akamai and from Chetan Sharma that shows that demand for mobile broadband is continuing to grow unabated.

We are using more mobile data in more places, says GigaOm, and this is going to keep changing how we live, work, create and consume.

Such reports confirm what for many people is anecdotal experience: what you see happening from your own direct experiences and what your friends and colleagues say.

The trend is visualized perfectly in the two charts GigaOm posts, especially the bar chart you see here from Chetan Sharma’s report.

So what are the the mobile operators doing in recognition of such trends? Are they repurposing their offerings towards data consumption?

Here in the UK, 3 started doing that last year with its so-called ‘All You Can Eat’ data plans – a key reason for me in signing up with 3 and a new contract with my Samsung Galaxy SII.

I use mobile devices for the web and other data-hungry activity a lot. It’s great not having to even think about what type of connection I’m on (ie, what’s the cost) and focus instead on what I want to do. (That doesn’t apply when roaming, though – costs are ridiculous so I have cellular data roaming totally switched off, only enabled for wifi connectivity – which is a another story.)

Some of the key metrics from the reports:

  • The US now accounts for 26 percent of global data revenues.
  • 70 percent of device sales in the US are now smartphones.
  • Mobile data will be 95 percent of global mobile traffic by 2015.
  • The volume of mobile data traffic doubled from the fourth quarter of 2010 to the fourth quarter of 2011, and grew 28% between the third and the fourth quarters of 2011.

In the US, GigaOm reports that carriers there are responding to these shifts by experimenting with newer usage plans, and raising prices. But those are short term fixes, says GigaOm, for the wireless carriers need to totally re-imagine their value proposition, adding:

[...] The shift to mobile data is causing quiet upheavals in the industry. For instance, the highly lucrative voice and messaging revenues are vanishing fast, and are being replaced instead by the over-the-top services such as Skype, Nimbuzz, Voxer and other apps such as WhatsApp.

Maybe they need a 3 over there to really disrupt the market.

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Mobile data is growing, but voice & sms slowing
The rise of smartphones is bringing about massive changes in the mobile industry, according to data collected by researchers. Data revenues are moving on up and data usage is zooming at a time when vo…

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