Mobile data use to explode in Middle East, LatAm

by Staff Reporter | July 10th, 2013 | 1 Comment

The Middle East, Africa and Latin America are the only three regions that will see a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in mobile internet service revenue between 2013 and 2018. This is according to a report by ABI Research, a market intelligence company specialising in global technology markets.

This is underpinned by the strong per subscription data consumption increasing at CAGRs of 45-49%. In other words, data traffic doubles in less than every two years on average, thanks to the increased availability of affordable smart devices in the near future. In 2018, Latin America and the Middle East are expected to see an average user contributing more than 2.5GB of traffic per month.

Low literacy rates have resulted in the low messaging volume in Africa. However, with the fastest mobile subscription growth and over-the-top applications being less prevalent, it will be the only region to enjoy consistent positive messaging service revenue growth throughout the entire forecast horizon.

“Nonetheless, a key determinant of the future consumption pattern will be the regulatory policies in the regions,” says Ying Kang Tan, Research Associate at ABI Research. “For instance, the recent implementation of mobile number portability measure in Nigeria and the reduction in mobile termination rate in Honduras and Jamaica will go a long way in shaping the competitive landscape and encourage cellular usage.”

All these rising trends do not necessarily imply increased profitability. Jake Saunders, VP and practice director adds: “Operators in the regions need to be prepared to respond to new competition policies. For example, a slash in termination rates means consumers have fewer reasons to subscribe to different operators concurrently. The battle to gain market share will be even more intense.”


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