Discounting via the use of inclusive mobile “super size” and “unlimited” bundles is becoming the norm worldwide – but pricing for data bundles – if positioned according to user needs may provide a new opportunity for growth
London, June 12th 2008. New research from Tariff Consultancy Ltd reveals that mobile operators’ calling plans increase in “super size” and “unlimited” bundles of texts and minutes. Operators are trying to steer away from prepaid putting the emphasis on 30-day contracts and automatic top ups driving price competition. By comparison so far data plan bundling has been more limited and present the new battleground for mobile operators looking for growth.
In a report entitled Mobile Pricing Trends and Service Innovation
published by Tariff Consultancy Ltd, the market for prepaid, postpaid and so-called hybrid contracts are evaluated from mobile operators across the globe.
The report offers detailed pricing adopted by mobile operators in both emerging and developed markets for new services such as Messaging, Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM), Mobile TV, Mobile Music, Mobile Gaming and more.
Bundling and flat rate data services are gaining ground. The trend towards inclusive and unlimited offers is becoming unstoppable. The bundles of minutes and texts are becoming larger, with Italian operator Wind offering 4,000 on-net texts a month for a Euro 2 per month fee. In the UK T-Mobile’s SIM-Only Solo price plans offers up to 500 texts and 1,800 voice minutes to all networks for a 35 GBP(n1) per month fee.
“Mobile operators are increasingly using all inclusive flat rate deals to attract users onto a form of contract,” says Margrit Sessions, Managing Director of Tariff Consultancy Ltd. “The bundling of core minutes and texts is starting to reach its limit, so providers will have to resort to other means to differentiate their service and gain new customers”.
There is also evidence that mobile operators are becoming more selective in how they position their services. Operators moving towards community pricing and plans such as SingTel’s RedPAC (Parent And Child) offering allows minutes to be pooled among family members.
Fixed line and mobile providers are starting to integrate their services. Starhub in Singapore offers its Cable TV gaming service over the mobile so that those users can seamlessly transfer their online gaming experience from PC to the mobile at any time.
In new markets such as CEE and Russia, 3G providers are discovering that once a flat rate tariff structure for data is adopted – even at the equivalent of $100 USD per month – there is a ready market for Mobile Broadband, among users who use VoIP and who are underserved by existing fixed networks.
Although mobile operators are increasingly promoting [flat rate data services] worldwide, in reality there is usually a defined data allowance which when exceeded results in a high per MB charge rate. The can mislead consumers about how much they will really be charged in practice. Given consumers uncertainty about the real cost and need of these flat rate tariff plans operators are revising their pricing strategies and are offering a cut-price daily or per hour usage rate to stimulate user adoption.
“We believe that the next stage in mobile operator evolution will be those who are able to make [Mobile Broadband] a convenient, available and easy-to-use service”, says Margrit Sessions. “This time around mobile operators have the opportunity to provide a varied service portfolio which is geared to the user needs of individual groups, rather than provide pure price discounting”.
The conclusions from the Mobile Pricing and Service Innovation research will be discussed at the 3rd Mobile Pricing Symposium at the Homerton College, Cambridge University on 9th to 11th of July 2008, a unique annual event organised by the author of this new research.
Besides providing a preview of the most up-to-date research on mobile pricing, the Mobile Pricing Symposium also provides a content rich programme with original research presentations and case studies from operators in addition to debating current issues of mobile pricing with delegates from around the globe.
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Note to Editors:
About Tariff Consultancy Ltd.
Tariff Consultancy Ltd, based in London, is a specialist research, consultancy and event company which is focussed on the analysis of tariffs in a business context for the mobile and fixed line operator on a global basis. More information can be found on the company website at: www.telecomspricing.com
About the report ‘Mobile Pricing Trends and Service Innovation’
This 140-page report is the first of its kind in the market analysing in depth operators’ offerings and pricing for voice and data services for operators across the globe. The report is supported with plenty of pricing examples ana analysis. The report is available from Tariff Consultancy Ltd for £1,295.00.
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