Commoditization in wireless telecoms

Are market shares in the wireless telecom industry converging due to price competition, not differentiation? Are ARPU spreads contracting due to lack of real differentiation? We studied 50+ markets and looked at the data since 2006, and are inclined to answer: Yes to both. But take a look at the data yourself.


Countries where wireless service has become commoditized or is ‘on the edge’


Total change in the global population-weighted average ARPU in the past 10 years


Countries have seen increased competition since 2007 as measured by reducing market share spreads


Total change in the global population-weighted market share spread in the past 10 years

Wireless price wars

Competitive pressure is rising in the global wireless telephony industry. The result for telecommunications providers worldwide is stagnant growth, and a slow but seemingly inevitable commoditization of the industry’s primary services.

Strategy&’s annual commoditization tracker analyzes the state of play in markets across the globe by looking at two key metrics: changes in the spread between wireless operators with the largest and smallest share of each market’s subscribers, and in the spread between those with the highest and lowest average revenue per user.

How competitive is the market faced by operators in your country? More importantly, what can be done to break free from the commoditization trap?

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Wireless price wars

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