Customer experience has become a key issue in the overall retail market, not just in telecoms and dissatisfied customers are no longer taking a passive approach. In search of better prices and better services, more and more mobile subscribers around the world are opting to change service providers. As a result, churn rates are on the rise. Bearing in mind that the cost of acquiring customers is expensive, reducing churn rates can offer significant savings to telcos.
Roaming prices are a controversial issue around the world, with customers complaining that roaming prices are too high. Many mobile users are turning to alternatives solutions such as Wi-Fi hotspots and local SIM cards. Regulators in many countries have ordered companies to lower their roaming fees and increase billing transparency, thus lessening the chance of bill-shock. However, for mobile operators, roaming remains an important source of revenue.
Average Revenue per User (ARPU) is a key performance indicator for mobile operators and used as an important benchmark by investors and analysts. The current economic climate has driven down ARPU for operators around the world. But besides the economic downturn, there are other factors at work. Price pressures due to competition and multi-SIM users are also contributing to weaken ARPU as is the fact that most new mobile subscribers come from lower-income segments. If we look at Average Revenue per unique Subscriber (ARPS), however, the downward trend is less pronounced, as this measure removes the effects of multi-SIM ownership.
The migration to LTE is driving a surge in data usage, which has pushed up ARPU rates in some countries;
Operators who offer application-centric plans generally have higher ARPU and lower churn rates;
Mobile Termination Rates (MTR) continue to decrease throughout the world, reined in by regulatory intervention;
The European Commission is preparing regulations aimed at phasing out roaming charges in the European Union.
Financial information includes:
Global average mobile monthly ARPU; Mobile ARPU in the USA and Europe; Examples of mobile termination rates by region; Global mobile roaming revenue. Case study about Orange, including Orange's mobile services revenue and mobile churn rates.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Orange, Roamly, Meteor, 3 UK, Dekatel, Vodafone, MTN.
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