7 thoughts on “Mobile data is growing, but voice & sms slowing”

  1. Hi Om: I agree with your emphasis that carriers must reevaluate their value proposition – boosts in revenue from increased data pricing can only buy so much time. Exponential increases in data usage, deriving from technology becoming exponentially faster [processing] and cheaper [cost], is proving to be a headache for carriers [and their customer service!] to keep up with. I believe that telecom is an industry poised for a magnitude of future disruptions deriving from mobile that will force fascinating paradigm shifts. Perhaps there will be a heterogeneous U.S. [mobile] network that all smart devices can connect to with ease in the next 10-15 years, or sooner? Blending the lines between being on a “3G”, “4G”, or WiFi” network to the point of just consistently being “connected” to a single network could be very beneficial. Although I wonder who would control such a network.

    1. There’s actually a technology term coined for it: HetNet, which means that carriers will offer heterogeneous network access. This is starting by offloading and onloading from 3G/4G to WiFi, which is now being standardized.

      1. HetNet? Very interesting Tsahi I’m going to look into it to learn more – thanks for sharing.

  2. There is a reason why voice and sms have been slowing: VOIP
    The big problem for carrier is VOIP, last week we heard that Telia is blocking Skype, Telia is not the first to block Skype but definitely not the last, I am sure we are going to see many carriers that will follow Telia, if you look at the increase of mobile VoIP usage in the world you can understand the panic of the carriers, please look Allot MobileTrends Report: http://www.allot.com/index.aspx?id=3797&itemID=83869 ,you can learn that in the last few year VoIP users on mobile is more then doubling each year, don’t get confuse from the report that VoIP is only 5% of the data and 42% is YouTube/streaming videos, with streaming video you can play with packet priority and most of other data you can shrink it (and also play with packet priority) but VoIP is different story, you cannot shrink it or play with packet priority. So carriers need to invest money in Antenna tower, but it is too expensive and it takes a lot of time to built (so who is eating up data capacity –its VoIP, http://gigaom.com/broadband/whos-eating-up-atts-data-capacity-its-not-new-customers/).
    The carrier need to do what Verizon (if i am not wrong) did, they route the Skype calls as normal voice call and not as data, like UK carrier 3 did before few years ago, the other choices is to block the users or ask for extra money so most of the free users will not want to pay and the carrier reduce the network usage, one other solution that Skype just add in their web shop, product called Navoto GSM Gateway which route the calls through the voice channel and not on the data channel , carrier should locate the heavy VoIP users and offer them what verzion/UK 3 did… Please look company name onavo (onavo.com) in their FAQ you can lean a lot about shrinking data.

  3. Is there anybody here who will not pay for bleeding fast mobile data? Hell, I don’t have a DSL and would pay for nice little box to plug in at home. Two iPhones, an iPad, a laptop. My data costs are already more than my historical cell phone bills.

    Don’t weep for me Argentina!

  4. Hi Om, I have a lot of respect for you and GiGaOm’s reports, but as per my post yesturday that was not published. There is nothing in this report that validates your claim that SMS is slowing. SMS has always formed part of the Data graph and in your Ericcson data set still does, the net number of SMS is still growing and will continue to grow, the impact of OTT just means that while SMS on a net basis will continue to grow some of the P-2-P messaging will shift form the SMS channel to IP (OTT) channels, that said all reports indicate SMS will still grow for many years to come.

    1. The point is that growth of SMS is slowing. Growth can come at a slower pace while the number of messages and users continues to grow (more slowly) for a few more years.

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