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Wireless winners?

Week 09, 2011

Interestingly, this paper insists on the competitive ecosystem as a means to deliver service to customer. “In fact, average wireless per-minute revenue was four times higher in Europe than in the United States, as of the end of 2009. As a result, the average wireless consumer in Europe used just 160 minutes a month compared to more than 824 minutes a month for the US American consumers are clearly getting more for their money”, it says.

On the other hand, one could consider higher ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) allows more technology development from the telecom ecosystem at large. Japan, with four mobile network operators, has one of the highest ARPU in the world at JPY 5,200 (EUR 45.90), most of it coming from data services, and is by far one of the most innovative markets. Japan launched mobile internet in 1999, and 3G in 2001. Japan also has the highest penetration rate for mobile payment.

Hong Kong, one of the most competitive (5 operators serving 7 million inhabitants) and innovative telecom market in the world, has a mobile penetration rate over 170% and still rising, and the average ARPU is HKD 155 (EUR 14.40).

Europe has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to mobile communication. The European industry has been permanently innovative over the last 25 years, inventing among many others, GSM, SIM cards, 3G, mobile contactless transactions, etc.

Now, it is commonly accepted that the US industry missed the technology trend when 2G and 3G mobile communications were launched. This may change with the arrival of Google, Apple, and other Silicon Valley-born players for 4G and associated services development.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights