The current strategy used by virtually all mobile service providers to combat declining voice average revenue per user is increased data revenue. So far data revenue growth has slowed the decline of blended ARPU, but it hasn’t stopped the bleeding entirely, in South American markets.

Excluding Venezuela and Argentina, voice ARPU in Latin American markets are declining at about two percent per quarter, according to Yankee Group analysts.

“Simple linear projections indicate nominal voice ARPU won’t stop declining until late 2017,” Yankee Group says. “By then regional voice ARPU would be just over U.S.$5.80, about 40 percent less than it is today.”

Today, the great hope for line growth, now that penetration is at or over 100 percent in virtually all countries, is machine-to-machine (M2M) services. Unfortunately, operators generally only participate in the connectivity aspects of M2M, a very low-ARPU business (less than U.S.$2.00 per line per month).

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