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August 10, 2010

The 2 most expensive carriers continue to generate most of the revenue, but consumers are seeking lower bills – what does this mean for the future?  ARPU = “Average Revenue Per User.”  Red highlights are mine.

Report: U.S. wireless data revenue surges 22%

August 10, 2010 — 9:56am ET | By Phil Goldstein

Americans continued to gobble up mobile data during the second quarter. According to numbers compiled by Chetan Sharma Consulting, the U.S. wireless data market grew 22 percent year-over-year and 6 percent from the first quarter of 2010, as revenues exceeded $13.2 billion. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) dominated the market, accounting for 70 percent of all U.S. mobile data revenues, as well as 62 percent of the nationwide subscriber base.

U.S. mobile data service revenues top $13.2 billion in Q2

August 10, 2010 — 8:42am ET | By Jason Ankeny

The U.S. mobile data market grew 6 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q2 2010, exceeding service revenues of $13.2 billion–a 22 percent annual increase–according to data compiled by Chetan Sharma Consulting. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) together accounted for 75 percent of Q2’s data revenue growth–the two rivals now represent 70 percent of all U.S. mobile data revenues, as well as 62 percent of the nationwide subscriber base.

Chetan Sharma notes that at the end of June 2010, the average U.S. subscriber consumes approximately 230 MB of data per month, up 50 percent over the end of 2009, with smartphones now making up 31 percent of all addressable devices. Data presently accounts for 31 percent of operator ARPU, up 4 percent quarter-over-quarter, with Verizon Wireless leading in data ARPU at $17.37. Non-messaging services still generate between 60 percent and 65 percent of U.S. data revenues; subscribers now average 639 messages per month.

For more on Q2’s mobile data growth:
– read this release
– check out FierceWirelessQ2 earnings page

US Mobile Data Market Update Q2 2010

Posted August 10, 2010

[Selected notes from the “Executive Summary” at the link above. – JC]

The US subscription penetration crossed 95% at the end of Q2 2010. If we take out the demographics of 5 yrs and younger, the mobile penetration is now past 100%. While the traditional net-adds have been slowing, the “connected device” segment is picking up so much that both AT&T and Verizon added more connected devices than postpaid subs in Q2 2010. Given the slow postpaid growth, operators are fiercely competing in prepaid, enterprise, connected devices, and M2M segments.

Data traffic continued to increase across all networks. By 1H 2010, the average US consumer was consuming approximately 230 MB/mo up 50% in 6 months. US has become ground zero for mobile broadband consumption and data traffic management evolution. While it lags Japan and Korea in 3G penetration by a distance, due to higher penetration of smartphones and datacards, the consumption is much higher than its Asian counterparts. Given that it is also becoming the largest deployment base for HSPA+ and LTE, most of the cutting edge research in areas of data management and experimentation with policy, regulations, strategy, and business models is taking place in the networks of the US operators and keenly watched by players across the global ecosystem.

The pace of product introduction is accelerating with each quarter. Devices of all shapes and sizes are coming into the market literally every week. Players are having to re-evaluate their businesses and long-term strategies. Several new impressive devices got introduced during the course of 1H of 2010 including the iPad and EVO.

Verizon led in data ARPU with $17.37 followed by AT&T and Sprint. In terms of % contribution, all the top three operators exceeded the 30% mark. T-Mobile ended the quarter with approximately 25% of its revenue coming from data services.

Sprint got back into the positive net-adds territory again after 3 years. T-Mobile’s net-adds continued to decline. T-Mobile’s 20% and Sprint’s 23% subscriber base is now prepaid. The national prepaid penetration is touching 20%.

Nokia sold 111M units in Q2 2010 amounting for 36% of the market share. Samsung again had a solid quarter with 64M devices sold with the share at 21%. LG Electronics at 10%, Sony Ericsson and RIM at 3.6% rounded up the top 5.

Apple shipped 8.4M iPhones in Q2 but the criticism over the antenna design took some shine out from yet another home run.

As we noted in our last update, the data traffic is now significantly more than the voice traffic. By 1H 2010, the average US consumer was consuming approximately 230 MB/mo, up 50% in 6 months. The good news is that there are several solutions available and are being invented that will help manage the data growth starting with the tiered pricing plans.

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