US mobile service revenues in the second quarter declined 2 percent or almost declined by a billion dollars, one of the biggest revenue declines in recent times, according to a new report from Chetan Sharma. Mobile data services revenue however continued to increase and is on track to exceed the USD 100 billion mark in mobile data revenue to become the first country to generate USD 100 billion from mobile data services.
Verizon and AT&T dominated the quarter accounting for 68 percent of the mobile data services revenue and had 68 percent of the subscription base. Verizon and AT&T are the No. 2 and No. 3 global mobile data revenue ranking respectively in the quarter. Sprint and T-Mobile also maintained their rankings in the top ten global mobile data operators. Revenue from new subscribers declined to roughly 2 percent.
The overall ARPU declined by USD 1.15 and average voice ARPU declined by USD 1.53 while the average data ARPU grew 1 percent quarter-over-quarter. Data contribution to the overall revenues is now at 55 percent. The US operators added 3.2 million new customers with T-Mobile taking the lead. Among net-adds in the quarter, 84 percent were from the non-phone category. The net-effect has been that while overall subscriber count has increased, there has been a negative impact on the ARPU which declined by 2.27 percent. Verizon's tablet net-adds surged accounting for almost 48 percent of the overall tablets that were added in the quarter. AT&T has the most number of tablets on its network. T-Mobile's postpaid continued to see positive growth for the fifth straight quarter and has almost recovered its losses that begin in the third quarter 2009. As other companies have started to gain in connected devices, AT&T's share dropped to 46 percent though it continues to lead by a distance. AT&T registered the lowest postpaid churn it its history at 0.86.
Shared data plans launched by Verizon and AT&T have been successful and attachment rates have increased significantly with more consumers opting for cellular tablets and connected devices. At Verizon, 50 percent of postpaid accounts are now on shared plans and at AT&T, 49 percent of postpaid accounts are on 10GB+ plans.
The number of players making USD 250 million per quarter on mobile continues to increase rapidly. Mobile is now contributing 62 percent *up from 30% in Q1 2013) to Facebook's quarterly results and Twitter is now doing 81 percent in mobile (of total advertising revenue) up from 60 percent in 2013.
Connected devices (non-phones) accounted for almost 84 percent of the net-adds in the second quarter and tablets accounted for 70 percent of connected devices sold. Quarter-over-quarter, the non-phone segment grew 10 percent.
Smartphones continued to be sold at a brisk pace accounting for almost 93 percent of the devices sold in the quarter. Within the next two years, the feature phone category will practically be extinct in the US market. US smartphone penetration is now at 70 percent. Android had its best showing in the US market with 60 percent share of the quarter. Verizon continues to sell more LTE smartphones as its LTE sub tally rose to 54 million, making it the leading LTE operator in the world. Verizon reported that 76 percent of its total data traffic is on the LTE network.
Among patents granted by the USPTO, 24 percent were mobile related. Samsung, IBM, Microsoft, Sony and Ericsson make up the top five patent players in mobile. US companies comprise 50 percent of the top 50 list followed by Japan, China and South Korea.
Samsung was again the leader in mobile patents granted in 2013 in the US and worldwide. Samsung was followed by IBM, Qualcomm, RIM, LG, Sony, Microsoft, Ericsson, Google and AT&T for the top ten companies by mobile patent grants in 2013. Google made an entry into the top ten overall mobile patents list for the first time. AT&T did the same for the mobile patents granted in 2013.
US mobile operators dominate the top ten operator rankings: patent top ten rankings: AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, Sprint, Verizon, Telecom Italia, Swisscom, T-Mobile, Orange, SK Telecom and TeliaSoneria. Mobile infrastructure patent top ten rankings: Samsung, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm, LG, Intel, Siemens, Fujitsu, NEC and Panasonic. Mobile OEM patent top ten rankings: Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Nokia, Google, LG, RIM, Siemens, Fujitsu and Panasonic. The top five categories for patent grants in the US for 2013 were Telecommunications, Digital Multiplexing, Digital Processing-Data Transfer, Digital Processing-Financial and Computer Graphics. The top ten filers of mobile patents in the US were IBM, Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson, Google, LG, Intel and Apple. It was the first time that Samsung, Microsoft, Google and Apple showed up in the top ten patent filers list together.
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