Shrinking costs yet rising use of mobile broadband
The decline of mobile broadband ARPU can partially be attributed to high competition and increased usage of data over voice. The cost of data associated with messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, whose popularity has been on the rise, is relatively low compared to the cost of voice calls – resulting in a decline of total ARPU.
Despite this decrease in mobile ARPU, data makes up an increasingly important part of the mobile communication landscape. Mobile data traffic has skyrocketed in countries like the UK, and the gap between mobile and fixed call minutes has been increasing since 2011.
5G on the horizon
The rise of 5G mobile networks in addition to 3G and 4G will only enhance the use of mobile broadband. Offering even minimum data speeds over 20 Mbps faster than 4G, as well as a much greater maximum bandwidth, 5G is set to revolutionize mobile data not just for consumers, but also for a range of commercial and industrial applications. By 2027, it is expected that the number of 5G connections will grow to nearly 664 million in Europe alone.