The state of the global mobile consumer

Connectivity is core

The state of the global mobile consumer report provides a view of some of the key trends that the survey results have revealed, both by looking at the individual country picture and at the consolidated global level.

A note from the authors:
The importance of mobile connectivity in our lives is growing each year. While the simplicity of a single device may be desirable, consumers are acquiring an increasing number of devices whose utility is a function of their ability to be connected. Demand for a widening array of devices continues to increase and connectivity becomes core functionality as it adds value to both devices and to content.

Areas covered in the report include:

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The state of the global mobile consumer

  • LTE (Long Term Evolution)
  • Applications 
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • Tariffs and billing 
  • Mobile advertising

"As of November 2012, 105 in 48 countries have launched LTE networks commercially. At the end of the second quarter of 2012 there were 27.7 million LTE subscribers, equivalent to half a percent of the 6 billion mobile subscribers. Most LTE deployments have been on a limited basis, typically focusing on major urban areas."

LTE: an iteration and an upgrade

The benefits of LTE are widely recognized, and include the ability to handle more traffic at faster speeds and with more efficient use of a finite spectrum. However, LTE comes at a significant price: network upgrades, spectrum purchases, marketing, and LTE handset subsidies are all potential constraints on the pace of rollout.

"More than a billion smartphones will be in use in 2013, rising to more than two billion by 2015 and more than three billion by 2017. Between 2011 and 2017, average smartphone traffic via the mobile network is forecast to reach more than one gigabyte per month."

Making all-you-can-eat digestible

For many smartphone users all-you-can-eat is a prerequisite to using mobile data. With the majority of mobile customers yet to move to mobile data, now could be the right time to promote all-you-can-eat per app. It would be a way to encourage non-data users to try mobile apps, without worrying about runaway costs.

"The Survey reveals that 15 percent of respondents in developed countries own or have access to a tablet. In developing markets, 19 percent of urban professionals own or have access to a tablet. However, sharing is still common."

The tablet continues to proliferate

By 2016, annual tablet sales are expected to hit more than 250 million, catalyzed by falling costs, multiple device ownership, and mass-market take up. The tablet is becoming the media device of choice for online activity, apps, entertainment, and games.


Joan O'Connor

Partner - Tax

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