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All Americans To Have Mobile Phones by 2013

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[qi:83] Update: Nearly 84 percent of the U.S. population will have mobile phones by the end of 2007, and that number is going to barrel past 100 percent in 2013, according to SNL Kagan. SNL Kagan expects total industry average revenue per user (ARPU) to grow at an inflation-adjusted compound annual growth rate of 1.5 percent over the next 10 years, from $52.38 today to $61.09 by 2017.

No wonder every single carrier is counting on data for growth that keeps Wall Street happy. The research group predicts that data revenue will grow 14 percent (compounded) over the next 10 years and will become 22 percent of service revenue, compared with 10 percent today. Now if the carriers could only come up with some reasons for us to actually use their data networks.

Chetan Sharma writes in to make a few points, and showing me error of my ways.

1) 100 percent penetration doesn’t mean that ALL Americans will have cell phones. 18 percent to 20 percent of the 100 percent will be dual/multiple subscriptions.

2) Data contribution is already 17 percent, so who knows what will happen in 10 years but it will be surely passing 20 percent by end of this year and 25 percent by next year (Verizon is already at 19 percent).

20 Responses to “All Americans To Have Mobile Phones by 2013”

  1. I am glad that mobile continues to grow. The mobile phone is becoming a wallet and a great way for people to help each other and increase the success of cause type campaigns. We definately see that in all our clients here at MobileCause.

    Connect. And Change the World!

    Sean a mobile social enabler

  2. Data is not at 17% today in the US. Non-voice might be 17%, but that includes P2P SMS, which does not flow over the data channel and is not a “data service” in any meaningful sense of the word. The EU operators pushed this conflation when they were getting beat up in the markets for overpaying for spectrum early in the decade. “Hey, let’s call all that cheesy old SMS traffic ‘data’ and then we can claim ROI on those fancy new networks that we’re building out…”

  3. Yogesh Kaushik

    I think Mobility is hardly a competitive market and it’s not likely to change very soon. If it was so, iPhone would not create the mania it did. Mobile voice, on the other hand, is a commodity and the ARPU growth would definitely not come from voice. The growth opportunities in the mobile ecosystem are video, data, m-commerce, advertising, converged devices, localisation and personalisation to name a few off the top of my head. How much of this value is captured by the MNO is a different question.

  4. Interesting that they expect ARPU to grow. Wouldn’t it be logical that in a competitive market ARPU would drop? The marginal costs of adding extra customers is close to zero. Same goes for offering the customers more bits/minutes/services or better quality for the same price. Economic theory would therefore predict there would be pressure on margins.

    On top of this, there is a significant divide in the US between the haves and the broke poor. The bottom of the market is interesting, but for them prices do need to come down

  5. Kevin

    Good point. Of course mobile companies are counting on subscribers like me who are stuck with iPhone and need blackberry to really get email on the go. Anyway i think the point about younger people is a valid one, though in the aging population, i think it might not be the case, given the healthcare needs etc. my two cents.

  6. Kevin Walsh

    I’ll add this to my collection of ridiculous prognostications that indicate we’re entering another tech bubble.

    17% of the US population is under 10 or over 80. And while a subset of those age groups do have cell phones, it’s small and will always be so (7% are under 5; I doubt even well-heeled toddlers in Palo Alto are sporting cell phones). For the Kagan estimate (“more than 100 percent”) to be true, a very, very large number of people would need to have two or more cell phones. And while having the latest gadget is mandatory for the digital elite, having two or more cell phones is a sign of insecurity.

  7. I misread the title as “All Americans HAVE TO HAVE Mobile Phones by 2013″ like it was some kind of government mandate.

    I was thinking of an “improvement” to the national ID card. Not only will you be forced to ID yourself and let them always know where you are (through RFID), but you must also be available for propaganda… er public service… calls.