Global mobile data traffic growth reached a six-year high in Q3 2017, jumping 115% globally year on year, with India and China accounting for half of all traffic growth, says Strategy Analytics.
India’s Reliance Jio was carrying more data traffic than any mobile operator globally within six months of launch, but its disruptive impact on the market has meant profitable traffic growth has been hard to find, the research firm said.
Driven by unlimited data plans, mobile data traffic in China soared 166% year-on-year in Q3 2017, generating a healthy recovery in both service revenue and EBITDA for the operators.
In Europe, Vodafone has enjoyed healthy early traction for its zero-rated Passes, offering a more segmented and targeted approach to traffic and revenue stimulation.
Vodafone had 8 million customers using Passes by the end of September, with a positive impact on ARPU and usage. It has delivered 2.6x growth in traffic in Europe over the last two years with near-flat opex.
“It is encouraging to see more success stories from operators using unlimited or zero-rated pricing to unlock growth in both revenue and profitability,” Phil Kendall, report author and director for service provider group at said. “The success of China Unicom’s unlimited plans and collaborations with local internet giants highlights the importance of partnering with content providers to add value to data plans.”
Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director, service provider strategies, added: “Operators need to evaluate both their market environment and customer segment priorities when contemplating unlimited plan options. We applaud Vodafone’s strategy to focus on more targeted and segmented market offers in Europe, addressing discrete demand for messaging, music and video services within those segments.”