Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mobile Data Service Price-Leader Examples

In a global comparison of mobile data service pricing, ABI Research found the Netherlands, France and Singapore to have among the lowest prices for mobile broadband plans.

In France, an "unlimited" download plan costs just over $15 per month. Government regulators in other countries can learn from this hyper-competitive telecom services market that has become the envy of consumers the world over.

"ABI Research expects the price of mobile data to fall in emerging regions where network capacity is still under-used," says ABI Research analyst Bhavya Khanna.

However, in developed markets with high levels of smartphone penetration, operators will have to rethink their current pricing strategies of high or unlimited data download plans, as data usage has grown exponentially.

Some countries have already seen the introduction of innovative pricing plans, including pricing by time rather than data downloaded. For example, mobile data plans in Italy and the Philippines allow for unlimited downloads, but with a limited amount of available time per month.

Vendors must also ensure that their price plans remain transparent and fair. Consumers and watchdogs have complained about excessive and uncapped data costs for users who unknowingly exceed their allotted maximum download limit.

This can be mitigated by the use of data caps above which users cannot continue downloading, or through informative advertising detailing the number of web pages or online videos represented by a given data package.

ABI Research tracks mobile data pricing for both handset use and USB modem across 27 countries worldwide. The database includes information about data pricing plans by carrier, as well as a cross country comparison of the lowest cost plan for downloading 3GB of data.