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Market Analysis-Mobile Service Providers - US - March 2014-Market Growth, Size, Share and Forecast

Brands are becoming increasingly savvy in making adjustments in pricing that favor their ARPU, but as subscribers themselves become increasingly sophisticated, these shifts will eventually become transparent to them. It may be time for marketers to primarily focus on growing new services that benefit consumers, rather than tinkering further with plans.

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Table of Content


Scope and Themes

What you need to know

Definition

Data sources

Sales data

Consumer survey data

Advertising creative

Abbreviations and terms

Abbreviations

Terms

Executive Summary

The market

Slow growth driven by data

Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of cellular service revenue, at current prices, 2008-18

Prepaid gains, but remains a niche

Figure 2: US cellular service revenue, postpaid vs prepaid, 2013

Smartphone-centered lifestyles drive mobile data growth

Figure 3: Features used on cell phone in past 30 days, January 2011-September 2013

Data growth competes with faster speed, lower-cost fixed-point

Connected devices waiting for carriers to pick up

Key players

Figure 4: Cellular carrier, January-September 2013

T-Mobile’s pricing revolution

Network wars dominate airwaves

The consumer

Growth in highest-income group perk for pricy plans

Figure 5: Spend on monthly cell/wireless phone bill, by household income, January-September 2013

Younger subscribers more likely to switch

Figure 6: Interest in switching carriers, and switched to new service in past 12 months, by age, December 2013

Switchers seek cost-relief

Figure 7: Reasons for switching carriers, December 2013

What we think

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Issues and Insights

How can the industry grow past universal penetration?

The issues

The implications

Has the future been prepaid?

The issues

The implications

Trend Application

Trend: Guiding Choice

Trend: Who are the Joneses?

Mintel futures: Human

Market Size and Forecast

Key points

New competitive landscape dampened growth in 2013

Increased data use to offset lower connection fees

Sales and forecast

Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of cellular service revenue, at current prices, 2008-18

Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of cellular service revenue, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2008-18

Figure 10: US cellular subscriptions, 2008-13

Fan chart forecast

Figure 11: Fan Chart and Forecast: Total US sales of cellular service revenue, at current prices, 2008-18

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Market Drivers

Key points

Smartphone ownership

Figure 12: Smartphone ownership, by age, December 2013

Tablets and laptops relatively untapped market

Figure 13: Ownership of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, December 2013

Figure 14: Use of laptops and tablets with cellular plans, December 2013

Rapid shifts in phone use

Figure 15: Features used on cell phone in past 30 days, January 2011-September 2013

Age and spend

Figure 16: Spend on monthly cell/wireless phone bill, by age, January 2013-September 2013

Figure 17: US population by age, 2014-19

Income and spending

Figure 18: Spend on monthly cell/wireless phone bill, by household income, January-September 2013

Figure 19: Household income distribution, 2011-13

Competitive Context

Key points

Home internet major competitor for mobile data

Speed

Price

WiFi hotspots reduce spend on mobile data

Municipal WiFi limited threat, but hotspots at retail are spreading

Home ISPs enhance WiFi coverage

Segment Performance

Key points

Prepaid continues to gain, but more slowly

Figure 20: US cellular service revenues, postpaid vs. prepaid, 2008-18

Postpaid rallies on data use and connected devices

Figure 21: US cellular service postpaid subscriptions, 2008-13

Prepaid gains revenue share but not subscription share

Figure 22: US cellular service prepaid subscriptions, 2008-13

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