Skip to main content

Dirty Little Secret about 3G Mobile Data ARPU

According to In-Stat's latest 3G deployment report, a total of 210 cellular carriers worldwide have either deployed 3G or will do so very shortly. In-Stat defined 3G as either CDMA2000 EVDO and above, or WCDMA and above.

Of these 210 cellular carriers, 68 are in Western Europe, 38 Eastern Europe, 19 in North America, 18 South America, 13 are in the Middle East and 54 are in the Asia Pacific.

When these 3G cellular carriers are taken together, it becomes very clear that 3G is available most places worldwide. So, 3G is definitely deployed, but is it really being used effectively? While the U.S. is not representative of many regions worldwide, it could be considered roughly middle-of-the-road in terms of technology usage.

Certainly the U.S. is way behind Korea or Japan, but ahead of many other regions. In the U.S., the major cellular carriers report that their ARPU is roughly $6-$7 per month for what they call "data applications."

However, carriers consider ring-tones and SMS messaging as data, but these services don't use or require 3G networks. So, if you divide out the ARPU from real "3G" data, such as videos and Internet access, the real total 3G ARPU drops to around $2 per month.

While 3G ARPU is higher in Western Europe, and Asia, it's also quite a bit lower in other regions like South America, India, and China, as examples. The point in discussing 3G ARPU is not to downplay the adoption of the technology, but rather to put things into perspective when talk starts to shift to 4G, WiMAX, and 802.20 technology.

For these new technologies to be used, there must be subscriber demand, and with the track-record of 3G as an indication, these subscribers might be hard to attain. Clearly, 3G has had great success in Asia, but even there, WiBRO, the Korean version of WiMAX, has struggled to gain subscribers.

In the U.S., 3G has had limited success with a few MVNOs who have promoted video content above all else. For example, Amp'd Mobile has a small following of young people that download and watch short video clips designed just for that audience on a mobile device-sized screen. But as an example of how niche-oriented this market can be, ESPN Mobile failed at its attempt to reach a very similar audience.

And what about 4G, WiMAX, and 802.20? How do they play into this? In-Stat believes that the numerous versions of this very question will be prevalent at the biggest mobile service provider trade show in the U.S., the CTIA Show in Orlando.

Popular posts from this blog

Industrial and Manufacturing Technology Growth

In an evolving era of rapid advancement, market demand for innovative technology in the industrial and manufacturing sectors is skyrocketing. Leaders are recognizing the immense potential of digital transformation and are driving initiatives to integrate technologies into their business operations.  These initiatives aim to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately drive growth and competitiveness in an increasingly digital business upward trajectory. The industrial and manufacturing sectors have been the backbone of the Global Networked Economy, contributing $16 trillion in value in 2021. Industrial and Manufacturing Tech Market Development   This growth represents a 20 percent increase from 2020, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of these sectors in the face of unprecedented challenges, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research . The five largest manufacturing verticals -- automotive, computer and electronic, primary metal, food, and machinery -

Rise of AI-Enabled Smart Traffic Management

The demand for smart traffic management systems has grown due to rising urban populations and increasing vehicle ownership. With more people and cars concentrated in cities, problems like traffic congestion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions are pressing issues. Since the early 2000s, government leaders have been exploring ways to leverage advances in IoT connectivity, sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics to address these transportation challenges. The concept of a Smart City emerged in the 2010s, with smart mobility and intelligent traffic management as key components.  Smart Traffic Management Market Development Concerns about continued climate change, as well as cost savings from improved traffic flow, have further motivated local government investment in these advanced systems. According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, they found that by 2028, smart traffic management investment will be up by 75 percent from a 2023 figure of

AI Software Market will Reach $251 Billion

The growth in Artificial Intelligence (AI) software could lead to many benefits. As more organizations adopt AI, they may become more efficient, productive, and able to offer improved products and services. The global job market could also expand, with demand growing for roles like AI engineers and technicians. Plus, AI apps could enable breakthroughs in fields like healthcare, transportation, and energy. The worldwide AI software market will grow from $64 billion in 2022 to nearly $251 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.4 percent, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). AI Software Market Development The forecast for AI-centric software includes Artificial Intelligence Platforms, AI Applications, AI System Infrastructure Software (SIS), and AI Application Development and Deployment (AD&D) software (excluding AI platforms). However, it does not include Generative AI (GenAI) platforms and applications, which IDC recent