North America: “Your Carrier Needs You!”
With the increase in non-voice revenues failing to offset the decline in voice revenues, US Wireless carriers are enviously eying the success of Apple’s and Google’s app stores. While they have undoubtedly benefited from the smartphone/app revolution, carriers such as AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, are taking steps to be more than just a conduit in the future. Firstly, by a two-pronged assault on data monetisation: on the one hand, launching 4G networks, and on the other, switching back to tiered data plans which will make these new services cost-effective. Secondly, carriers are hoping to create a cross-platform environment, through projects such as the Wholesale Application Community, which will attract developers to their app stores with the opportunity to reach a wider audience. Meanwhile, north of the border, those quiet Canadians are making some noise of their own: while the wireless market has been dominated almost exclusively by the big three carriers – Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, and Telus Mobility – the spectrum auction license of 2008 is causing competition to heat-up as four of the potential six new operators have launched services. This will mean falling voice prices – which are notably higher than the US – but carriers will also have to monetise data more efficiently as well in order to compete. Consequently, in our recent report on the North American wireless market, we are forecasting that overall content and applications revenues will reach $10 billion by 2015, up from $4 billion in 2009. You can read about the latest developments in this market in more detail in our whitepaper, North America ~ A Land of Wireless Opportunities.