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- GPRS data revenue to rise to EUR23 billion in Western Europe in 2006


- Pricing based on perceived value is essential to realise the revenue potential of GPRS



CAMBRIDGE, UK, November 5, 2001 - The mobile communications industry is facing the prospect of several years of declining voice revenue. If priced correctly, however, data services using general packet radio service (GPRS) will enable mobile operators, service providers and MVNOs to continue to grow their overall revenue. This is just one of the conclusions of a new report, Pricing GPRS Services, published this week by Analysys, the global adviser on telecoms and new media (www.analysys.com).



Analysys forecasts that there will be 110 million GPRS users across Western Europe by 2006, representing 35% of all cellular subscribers. These GPRS subscribers will generate EUR800 million in mobile data revenue for the region in 2002, rising to an annual value of EUR23 billion in 2006 (figure - Mobile voice and data services revenue in Western Europe, 2000-2006, is available on request to journalists). However, the report warns that it is crucial to introduce the right pricing structures, if the full potential of these services is to be realised.



Operators are currently experimenting with a broad range of pricing structures for GPRS network access, including introductory unmetered access from several operators in Italy and in Finland, and complicated combinations of volume and time-based pricing by some German operators. Another German operator, VIAG, charges per WAP page.



"Current pricing for GPRS services reflects the immaturity of this market," says lead author Katrina Bond. "Handset supply is limited, customer preferences and usage patterns are uncertain, and the focus to date has been on basic network access services, rather than the premium services that GPRS enables." GPRS enables faster, more efficient data transfer than current cellular networks, and therefore broadens the scope for offering mobile access to email and business applications, as well as enabling games, messaging and information services to be enhanced with graphics.



The report concludes that while volume-based pricing might be most appropriate for basic GPRS network access, as the range of GPRS services expands, if operators and service providers are to maximise their revenue, they must relate price levels and structures to the perceived value of the services to users, and not just to the volume of data transmitted.



The report also concludes that:


- time-based charges are easier to communicate than volume-based charges, but will not be suitable
beyond the short term


- prices will inevitably decline as operators compete with each other, and will face further downward pressure from public wireless LANs and with the introduction of UMTS


- a detailed understanding of customer requirements is essential to offer appropriate service and tariff packages while avoiding price wars.



Written by Katrina Bond and Julie Robson, the report evaluates current GPRS pricing strategies in terms of both the structure and level of prices, and makes recommendations regarding appropriate pricing structures for several categories of GPRS service. Recommendations are provided for mobile operators, content providers, application developers, MVNOs and other service providers targeting this market.


The report is available in two packages, priced at: GBP650, which includes single-user electronic access; or GBP900, which includes single-user electronic access + one paper copy + one hour of Analyst Support. For more information, please telephone Analysys Research on +44 (0)1223 341300 or email research@analysys.com .


About Analysys (www.analysys.com)

Analysys, the global advisor in telecoms, IT and new media, works at the forefront of the communications revolution, delivering advice and insight to established and new entrant players. From offices in Cambridge, London, Glasgow, Madrid, Milan, Paris, San Francisco and Washington DC, over 170 Analysys staff provide strategy and systems consultancy, conferences, information services and start-up support to the companies that are creating the networked economy. Analysys Research reports, papers and online services provide authoritative coverage of this convergent industry, based on an unrivalled ability to fuse real-world experience, rigorous research and forward-looking analysis.

Recent products include:


* FRIACO: how capacity-based interconnction strengthens the Internet market (October 2001)

* Meeting the Challenges of GRPS Billing (September 2001)

* The Bandwidth Exchange: Herald of a New Carrier Age (August 2001)

* Public Wireless LAN Access: A Threat to Mobile Operators? (July 2001)

* Controlling the 3G Value Chain (July 2001)

* Successfully Marketing Mobile Data Services to SMEs (July 2001)

* Where DTV and Home Storage will Disintermediate the Internet (July 2001)

* Gigabit Ethernet: the solution to the MAN bandwidth bottleneck? (July 2001)

* Market Realities of IP-VPNs (July 2001)

* Evaluating the Business Case for 3G Network Sharing (June 2001)

* Back to Basics: New Entrant Carrier Strategies in a Bear Market (June 2001)

* Maximising Revenues through Advanced Service Provision: The survival strategy for European data
centre operators (June 2001)

* Interactive Consumer Broadband: Sex, Sport and Shopping? (June 2001)

* IP Local Loop: Key Facts (April 2001)

* Business-to-Business Infrastructure Providers: Network Operators in Ecommerce (April 2001)

* Business-to-Business E-billing (March 2001)

* Global IP Operators (February 2001)


Media contact (for interviews, report summaries and author photography):


Natalie Dargan
Analysys Research
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 341300
Email: natalie.dargan@analysys.com


Martin Brooke
Martin Brooke Associates
Tel: +44 (0)1223 264050
Email: martin.brooke@dial.pipex.com


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