Posted on 20-Dec-2003 09:41
Filed under: News
The ArcChart research group published an article where it reviews Vodafone live! performance after the first year of service offering. It may be a surprise to some that voice is still the killer application for mobile operators. Or may be not.
"Vodafone Live! is Vodafone's consumer data proposition, launched with a single objective – to provide consumers with a platform through which the company can offer an exciting range of data-centric applications that encourage users to ramp-up their data usage. Features include picture messaging, extended text messages, email, instant messaging and access to colour and graphic rich information sites, ranging from weather updates to cinema listings. The service initially launched last October in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK and has since been extended to Vodafone properties in 15 countries.
However, despite the attractiveness of the platform, and the compelling content on offer, in the 12 months to the end of September 2003, Vodafone has not been able to add any significant growth to it’s ARPU results, and in its key European territories they remain stagnant. In the UK, ARPU rose from £292 as of September 2002 to just £297 in September 2003. In Italy it rose from E347 to E355 in the same time period, and in Germany ARPU actually fell from E313 to E312.
The underlying factor that faces not just Vodafone, but all the mobile network operators, is that, while voice minutes continue to growth, the cost of these minutes have undergone significant erosion as a result of price competition – and voice is still the primary service for mobile operators. In the six months to September 2003 for example, 84 percent of Vodafone’s revenue was derived from voice calls.
Live!’s inability to make a difference to ARPU stems from the fact that it is still very much a minority sport. For example, in the UK - one of Live!’s more successful markets - 710,000 customers are on the service, but this represents just six percent of Vodafone’s total British subscriber base. Data consumption amongst this group would have to be ravenous for it to register on overall ARPU."