According to a detailed report from New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin on wireless carriers in the first quarter, fewer people are buying smartphones. This means that wireless carriers as a group will no longer benefit from millions of people upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone--those who want smartphones already have them, and those who don't most likely won't buy one anytime soon.
The following charts the top U.S. wireless carriers in the first quarter of 2013 by subscriber base, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, and includes major metrics--such as churn, ARPU and revenue--of each carrier.
Bell Canada continues to grow its Fibe TV IPTV subscriber base, although at least a chunk of that growth is coming via cannibalization of the carrier's existing satellite TV service, BCE President and CEO George Cope said during a call with analysts discussing first quarter earnings.
Operators are well aware of the threat that OTT presents, although some of their views--for example, that subscribers only use OTT apps because they are cheap--may be slightly off kilter. Nevertheless, if operators are still in any doubt about the severity of the threat, two reports this week provided some stark figures to illustrate how big a threat OTT is set to become.
The telecoms market in Europe continued to face macroeconomic uncertainty (particularly in Southern Europe) price-driven competition and further regulatory impacts in 2012. However, some positive stories emerged during the year: mobile data revenue grew solidly and the fixed revenue mix improved further as broadband penetration continued to rise.
Telekom Austria is introducing higher-priced mobile data tariffs with the view that the growing demand for data will enable it to reverse declining ARPUs.
France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said that the company's average revenue per user for its customers in France will decline at a faster rate this year than in 2012.
Verizon FiOS service numbers continued to grow, especially in a statistic that service providers love to tout: Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). The bundled voice, video and data service reaped $105.63 ARPU in revenue in the fourth quarter, up from $103.86 in the third quarter and $9.20 higher than the fourth quarter of 2011, according to fourth quarter 2012 financial data.
The model of operators in mature markets taking in higher revenues than those in emerging markets could be about to change, if what is happening in France is a harbinger of the future.
Making money from mobile services is not getting any easier as highlighted by recent quarterly results , and two Israeli mobile operators are now stepping up their efforts to launch new revenue streams following cutthroat competition in the local mobile market.