All 4 U.S. Leading Mobile Providers Abandon Metered Voice

With a recent move by AT&T, all four of the leading U.S. mobile service providers now offer the overwhelming number of subsctribers service plans that offer unlimited domestic calling and texting, with variable revenues now supplied by Internet access services.

Though a few plans (and customers on legacy plans) might include "metered" voice or text buckets, most of the plans now simply make domestic voice and text message usage a basic part of the service, without metering usage, while it is Internet access that is the metered service and revenue driver. 

Though it has been clear for some time that voice has passed the peak of its product cycle, the full ramifications sometimes are not clear. 

Service providers some time ago transitioned to revenue growth lead by mobile services, then to revenue growth lead by mobile Internet access revenues. The new primary packaging approach in the U.S. market now reflects that change in substantial form.

Domestic voice and texting essentially are unlimited use features of mobile service, while revenue is driven by the amount of Internet access data consumed by users. 

On the other hand, making voice and messaging a flat fee feature of access to the network also preserves some of the revenue that once underpinned industry revenues. 

Now that all four leading U.S. mobile service providers have substantially adopted the unlimited domestic voice and data approach, it is clear evidence that those services do not, and will  not, drive future revenue growth. 



Voice and messaging now are features of mobile network access, more than representing the primary value of service, or the key variable cost driver. 


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