77% of Mobile Data Growth Driven by Emerging Markets
As has been the case for use of mobile services generally, emerging markets now are driving incremental mobile data revenue, with emerging markets contributing 77 percent of mobile data traffic growth in the first quarter of 2015, according to Strategy Analytics.
Affordable data plans such as micro-bundles, device and data plan combinations, and affordable smartphones have been key enablers.
The leading mobile operators in terms of traffic growth in the first quarter of 2015 were AIS Thailand (192 percent), Geocell Georgia (176 percent), Play Poland (163 percent), Indosat Indonesia (159 percent) and China Mobile (158 percent).
In India, 2G traffic growth is still strong. In the first quarter, 2G accounted for 44 percent of total data traffic at Idea Cellular and grew 68 percent annually.
On Idea’s 3G network, by way of comparison, traffic grew 135 percent in the first quarter.
Developed markets tend to see 4G supporting most of the traffic. Verizon Wireless saw 86 percent of its data traffic on the LTE network.
In South Korea, 96 percent of data traffic is carried on 4G networks.
In Singapore mobile data consumption grew 25 percent in the first quarter. In Hong Kong mobile data consumption grew 34 percent. U.S. mobile data consumption grew 26 percent growth in 2014.
Of course, traffic is not revenue, and revenue growth lags behind consumption. Data revenue growth fell below 20 percent globally for the first time, said Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Strategy Analytics director, wireless operator strategies.