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.