Data does indeed represent growth for wireless telcompetitors, cost optimization analysis firm Validas notes, but voice remains their main source of revenue. Wireless voice revenue continues to surpass data revenue by a ratio of 3.6:1, more than 4:1 if pay-per-use, overage and add-on charges are included, the Houston-based firm found after studying more than 20,000 wireless bills from current customers.

Validas found that more than 73% of wireless customers subscribe to voice plans while only 25% subscribe to data plans. And while wireless data plans generate an average $31.78 of revenue per line, wireless voice plans generate $39,53.

“Data and apps represent growth for carriers, but voice still pays the bills,” says Ed Finegold, executive vice president of analytics for Validas. “I disagree with analysts who argue that voice is becoming less important to wireless users because of apps and mobile Internet. Our studies show that wireless data users use more of everything, especially voice minutes,” Finegold says.

Wireless users need to focus more on matching their actual usage to their choice of voice plan. While overage charges for having to buy additional minutes can and does does result in “bill shock,” subscribers buying more minutes than they need is actually the more prevalent issue, Validas says. They find that a majority of subscribers can save more than $20 per month on average by “right sizing” their voice plans.

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