Mobile Data allowance, Voice and Messaging Trends

The adoption of smart phones and the associated consumption of data is creating significant changes to the revenue mix of mobile operators. The trend in consumer adoption of messaging and calling apps is reported in Nokia’s recently completed 2016 Nokia Acquisition and Retention Study.

Data allowance

Voice and SMS revenue has been declining steadily for many years, largely due to the emergence of data-consuming messaging and calling apps. Although the usage of these apps differs by market, most consumers globally still prefer to use traditional phone services for making calls.

  • Consumers avoid using apps on the mobile network for three main reasons: data allowance, cost and speed.
  • Within transition markets, purchasing an additional amount of once-off data remains the most popular option for consumers, at 44%. This is particularly pronounced in South Africa, at 61%, but less so among Mexican consumers, at 30 percent.
  • Consumers from South Africa (36%), Mexico (30%) and Brazil (32%) are willing to pay for access to Wi-Fi hotspots from their operators.

Voice and Messaging

  • Globally, the use of messaging apps is far more common than calling apps.
    • The use of messaging apps is particularly popular in transition markets where 86% of consumers claimed to use them. Furthermore, 47% of all consumers in transition markets use messaging apps more often than traditional SMS services.
    • The total number of consumers using voice apps is considerably lower than the use of messaging apps. 74% of consumers globally still rely solely on core operator services for making and receiving calls.
    • IInterestingly, 45% of consumers use these apps even more than their phone service. This is driven by markets such as Brazil (46%), Mexico (56%) and South Africa (50%).
  • Globally, 74% of consumers don’t use voice and calling apps. Only 8% of global consumers use these apps more than their phone service, and another 8% use voice and video apps as much as traditional phone services.
  • In South Africa, 9% of mobile users use calling apps more than traditional phone services.

The following chart shows the app usage in different types of markets:


Source: 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study

Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study
The Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study has been designed to help mobile operators understand current trends in consumer behaviour, in order to make more informed decisions when developing acquisition and retention strategies. The focus of this extensive study is to uncover the core drivers of customer retention by providing detailed and granular insights around consumer perceptions, causes of dissatisfaction and the likelihood to churn across several scenarios.

Choosing a Mobile Operator

Which mobile operator are you with? Over 40% of consumers rely on advice and recommendations made by family and friends when choosing their mobile operator. These are the findings from reported by Nokia in their recently completed their 2016 Nokia Acquisition and Retention study.

Reasons for Choosing a Mobile Operator

The study found that the key reasons are:

  • Being on the same network as friends and family is an important consideration
  • But price is still the main reason for 45% of global consumers when choosing their mobile operator
  • After price, the main reasons for choosing a mobile operator are network quality and network coverage
  • But many consumers are now considering factors such as customer care when selecting a new mobile provider.

Over the best price is the largest deciding factor in choosing an operator. This is also seen among non-4G and 4G users. Although among 4G users, best price and best network quality are rated higher than the non-4G users:

Reasons for choosing an operator

Source: 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study

Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study
The Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study has been designed to help mobile operators understand current trends in consumer behaviour, in order to make more informed decisions when developing acquisition and retention strategies. The focus of this extensive study is to uncover the core drivers of customer retention by providing detailed and granular insights around consumer perceptions, causes of dissatisfaction and the likelihood to churn across several scenarios.

Bundled services and Connected Devices

Research published by Nokia shows the positive impact that value-added and bundled services have on customer behaviour and attitudes.

Value-added, bundled services and connected devices

Value-added and bundled services both have a positive impact on retention and value-added services also improve network quality perception and data usage. 44 percent of global consumers claimed to bundle at least one other service with their mobile subscription. Only 27 percent of consumers globally receive value-added services from their mobile operator.

  • Offering value-added services has a positive impact on retention – by as much as 11 percent. It also has a significantly positive impact on consumer perception of network quality (+ 55%) and their likelihood to use more than one gigabyte of mobile data each month (+15%).
  • The concept of value-added services is further evolving to include connected devices. 56 percent of consumers in mature markets and 82 percent in transition markets would be interested in controlling at least one additional device from their smartphone.
  • Consumers choose bundled services for better prices and increased convenience. Home telephone and home broadband services are the most frequently bundled services, followed by multichannel pay TV services.

Overall, the bundles are selected as they provide a better overall price, it’s easier to get all services from one company and to have the company issue a single bill for the various services. The following chart shows the types of subscriptions and the drivers for taking bundled services:

Bundled services and Connected Devices (Pic 1)

Source: 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study

The following chart shows the impact of value-added services on the subscriber:

Bundled services and Connected Devices (Pic 2)

Source: 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study

Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study
The Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study has been designed to help mobile operators understand current trends in consumer behaviour, in order to make more informed decisions when developing acquisition and retention strategies. The focus of this extensive study is to uncover the core drivers of customer retention by providing detailed and granular insights around consumer perceptions, causes of dissatisfaction and the likelihood to churn across several scenarios.

Mobile Ads …. do consumers like them or loathe them?

Nokia recently completed 2016 Nokia Acquisition and Retention study shows what ads consumers would like to receive from their mobile operators.

Mobile advertising

Mobile ads… do consumers like them or loathe them? As it turns out, not as many consumers mind receiving mobile advertising as you might think, particularly if targeted to their needs. And for even better traction? Offer consumers a reward in return for receiving mobile advertising.

  • 47 percent of global consumers currently receive mobile ads from their operator – of which, only 4 percent prefer not to receive them
  • Consumer frustration occurs when targeted ads are just not relevant
  • 38 percent of consumers globally would be willing to receive more advertising in exchange for rewards or benefits.

Overall, consumers are more interested in receiving advertising content around device upgrades than any other type of mobile ads:

Mobile Ads Pic

Source: 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study

Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study
The Nokia 2016 Acquisition and Retention Study has been designed to help mobile operators understand current trends in consumer behaviour, in order to make more informed decisions when developing acquisition and retention strategies. The focus of this extensive study is to uncover the core drivers of customer retention by providing detailed and granular insights around consumer perceptions, causes of dissatisfaction and the likelihood to churn across several scenarios.

2016 Internet of Things (IoT) Outlook Report

The study reveals that roughly four in five respondents believe there is a lack of consensus over the best way to strategise, deploy and monetise IoT. This is one of the key findings reported by Telecoms.com Intelligence, who conducted the study.

2016 Market Survey
Of the roughly 1 000 respondents surveyed for this report, exactly 50% came from the service provider community – including MNOs, cable operators, ISPs, multiplay operators, broadcasters and cloud service providers. Service providers are frequently referred to as the great enablers of Internet of Things (IoT), and thus represents the primary market for this study. The second greatest group of respondents after service providers represent suppliers of IoT services, with 17% – this group includes hardware, software, services and application development vendors. Consultancy, analyst or research firms made up an additional 14%, while the remaining fifth of respondents originated from a range of sources including more niched telecoms services, government agencies, education institutions and industrial end-users of IoT technology.

Key Take-Outs

#1 Navigating the IoT landscape?

  • Roughly four in five respondents believe there is a lack of consensus over the best way to strategise, deploy and monetise IoT.
  • More than half the audience says IoT and M2M have now come to mean the same thing.
  • IoT services will be responsible for up to 50% of business revenue by 2020, according to half the audience.
  • In the next 12 months, just under half of our respondents expect to generate between zero and 10% of their revenues from IoT. Elsewhere, less than one fifth expects IoT to generate 10-30% of revenues, less than one tenth says up to 50%, and less than 5% expect to be able to attribute IoT with more than half of their total revenues in the next year.
  • By 2020, however, more than half of all respondents expect IoT to be responsible for somewhere between 10% and 50% of their total business, while 17% believe it will be 10% or less. A further 16% say more than half of their business will be directly concerned with IoT, and 15% opted against mustering a best-guess effort.

#2 Cloud platforms for IoT

  • 49% of respondents say data analytics is the most important feature of an IoT platform.
  • IoT services will mostly be built in-house instead of outsourced to third-party vendors, according to 70% of the audience.
  • Two thirds of respondents believe 5G will be the main connectivity platform for IoT, when it arrives.

#3 Optimising IoT connectivity

  • More than half the audience plans on using their existing radio network for both people and machine-based communications.
  • Nearly 90% of respondents see permanent roaming as a major challenge for businesses providing IoT services.
  • The radio network will carry up to 50% of IoT traffic in the future, according to nearly two thirds of the audience.

#4 Securing the IoT

  • Nearly two thirds of respondents believe IoT will present new and unique information security challenges.
  • An additional two thirds think IoT is more vulnerable to security leaks due to the volume of devices and traffic being generated.
  • One in three respondents think they don’t experience any DDoS attacks.

#5 Industrial IoT

  • Nearly half the audience says professional enterprise services and analytics software will be the biggest revenue generator for industrial IoT.
  • 81% believe telecoms operators will face threats from new market entrants as a result of IoT pervasion.
  • Just over a quarter of respondents feel conflicting standards will inhibit industrial IoT’s potential.

#6 Consumer IoT

  • Nearly two thirds of the audience believe consumer-related products will be a major element of their IoT strategy.
  • Just 7% of respondents think wearable tech will really take off.
  • A completely driverless experience will be the biggest benefit of connected cars, according to 27% of the audience.

Telecoms.com IoT Outlook Report 2016
Telecoms.com Intelligence, analyses and presents the findings of an in-depth questionnaire answered by 900 members of the telecoms industry involved with IoT today.

Future Workforce Study 2016

Dell and Intel have teamed up to create their newest Future Workforce Study 2016, which reveals how people around the world feel about how technology is shaping the workplace. Collaborating with Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a series of online interviews were conducted across seven target industries, with adults who work more than 35 hours a week. South Africa was included in the study and is grouped with Europe.

Key study highlights:

#1 Employees expect to work in a smart office in the near future

  • Today’s office is not smart enough; however, workers expect to be working in smart offices in the near future. Employees globally feel their offices are not advanced enough and desire an environment that uses data to make “smarter” decisions about employee habits like temperature, lighting etc. Workers are not only ready for businesses to implement the latest technologies to make their offices smarter, they expect it to happen within the next five years. Specifically, 44% of employees worldwide feel that their workspace isn’t smart enough, and more than half expect to be working in a smart office within the next five years.
  • This expectation is highest among the younger workforce, with 69% expecting to be in a smart office within the next five years. The consequences for not meeting these expectations is also greater for the millennial workforce, with 42% saying they would quit a job with substandard technology and 82% saying workplace technology influences what role they would take. Further, a majority of workers place an emphasis on functional benefits with 63% of millennials and 55% of older workers (over 35 years old) indicating they would rather have high-tech perks, such as augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and Internet of Things (IoT) than low-tech perks like ping pong, free food etc.

#2 The way we communicate will continue evolving away from face-to-face meetings

  • The way we communicate will be the next thing to change. The influx of new technology in the workplace has affected how employees communicate, collaborate and work more efficiently. In fact, with many employees believing that face-to-face meetings will be obsolete soon, the norms of office communication could be the next major change impacting the workplace.
  • While 57% of global employees still prefer to have face-to-face conversations with colleagues, half of global employees and three in five millennials think better communication technology and remote teams will make face-to-face conversation obsolete in the near future. In fact, a majority of workers in China, India and South Africa already do not prefer face-to-face conversations and instead use collaborative technologies to communicate with colleagues. Within this evolution, 79% of millennials believe workspaces are more collaborative than they used to be, and over 70% of millennials feel that advanced tech/smart offices are crucial to a collaborative, productive and efficient work environment.
  • Further, employees noted that virtual-sharing allows for collaboration with colleagues while remote capabilities would be the most beneficial technology integration into their office lives.

#3 Virtual reality and artificial intelligence adoption is growing

  • Virtual reality and artificial intelligence could impact the workplace sooner than we think. Cutting-edge technologies including virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence may soon play a pivotal role in how we work, and employees are expecting these technologies to impact their lives soon.
  • While millennials are the keenest for this convergence, interestingly it isn’t just the younger workforce who are looking forward to the introductions of these technologies into their working lives. Two thirds (66%) of the global population would be willing to use AR/VR products in their professional lives, while 46 percent believe the technologies will improve productivity within their individual role. Just under two thirds (62%) also believe that the introduction of artificial intelligence will make their job easier, while half (50%) say AI will lead to more productivity in the workplace, with 30% listing the ability to automate complex or repetitive tasks as the major immediate advantage.

#4 Remote employment continues to grow, given the advancement of enabling technologies

  • Remote employment allows global workers to focus equally on productivity and quality of life benefits, revealing the range of advantages that flexible working provides. Evolving technology has already had a huge impact on modern employee lifestyles. Technology has allowed people to change their lifestyles and, in turn, this has impacted their work styles and preferences. With these changes, employers are offering more flexible work arrangements to keep up with this evolution to cater to the mobile worker.
  • Over half (52%) of employees already work outside of a traditional office at least one day a week, while 18% are working from a public location every week. Employees are also seeing the advancement of technologies to better enable these new working arrangements, with respondents listing advanced security protection as the single most important technology to be implemented into their workplace.

Future Workforce Study 2016 Report
Dell and Intel have teamed up to create their newest Future Workforce Study 2016, which reveals how people around the world feel about how technology is shaping the workplace. Collaborating with Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), 3801 online interviews were conducted across nine different markets between April 05 and May 03, 2016. The report primarily analyzes adults who work more than 35 hours a week and work in one of seven target industries: Education, Government, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Media & Entertainment, and Retail.

The future of the South African Unified Communications Market

The increasing availability of good quality Unified Communications (UC) solutions, with expanded functionality, and growing interoperability between systems, is resulting in renewed interest in the UC product suite. In general, the South African market trails behind more developed markets in terms of adoption of UC products. However, in some respects it is more progressive through greater openness to a multi-vendor environment, integrating different brand components into a single system. This often allows quicker and less expensive deployment of UC solutions. Moreover, the comparatively high cost of bandwidth in SA is driving users towards an integrated omni-channel model more quickly, in order to economise on bandwidth and equipment.

South African Unified Communications Market Status

Based on feedback from the local providers of UC solutions, the market is at a very early growth phase, with larger companies demonstrating stronger interest and uptake than the SMEs. The expectation is for accelerating, strong growth of UC solutions over the next two to three years, with the SME market trailing behind the large enterprises, but increasingly subscribing to “commoditised” UC solutions in the cloud as this option becomes more viable.

Priority is still being given by many companies to convergence of networks/infrastructure and enablement of mobile users, as well as the implementation of VoIP. They are in the process of putting in place building blocks that will allow the adoption of UC in the future.

Currently, many service providers offer standardised UC solutions – one size fits all. However, as the market becomes more sophisticated and the requirement for customised solutions grows, a level of complexity will be added. This is likely to result in a growing need for system integration skills and consulting services as future revenue streams.

The transformation taking place in the workplace – a move towards a more collaborative environment, with a greater degree of mobility – will require the implementation of a proper UC environment. This will be a further driver of UC adoption.

Going forward, UC will progress to communications-enabled business processes, rather than be only a set of integrated multiple services. This will make UC considerably more useful as a set of business tools and is expected to result in faster uptake of UC services by business users.

Unified Communications Market Outlook

In the future, specialisation is likely to emerge, with strong players “dominating” each of the different UC system components – network, platform, front-end applications and back-end applications. This will result in a greater need for standardisation, collaboration and the ability to integrate different systems.
Total revenue for the SA UC market (excluding IP telephony revenue) is expected to reach R4.1 billion by the end of 2020, at which time over 80% of the revenue is expected to be generated through cloud-based UC services.


South African Unified Communications Market Study, 2015
This post is drawn from a study of the South Africa Unified Communications market undertaken by Africa Analysis.