Telcos are losing out due to increased mobile tethering: Telsyte

Telcos are losing out due to increased mobile tethering: Telsyte

Wi-Fi and mobile phone tethering is hurting mobile telcos' bottom line

Mobile data usage is flatlining as more and more mobile consumers get savvy and opt for more Wi-Fi and tethered solutions when downloading on personal devices.

This is according to the latest Australian Mobile Services Market Study 2014 released by analyst firm Telsyte.

Australia’s mobile broadband market grew by only three per cent in the twelve months to December 2013.

Telsyte Senior Analyst, Mobility, Alvin Lee, said tablets and other smart devices are embracing Wi-Fi networks rather than mobile data services.

“Telcos have had some success with mobile Wi-Fi modems, but it is expected smartphone tethering will continue to disrupt this market. The opportunity for dedicated mobile broadband is diminishing even as mobile traffic continues to grow.”

The analyst firm estimates telcos are currently only able to monetise 20 per cent of the consumer media tablet market. This is due to users being more comfortable with Wi-Fi tablets and smartphone tethering, rather than buying 3G and 4G cellular models.

Telcos may be hoping mobile Wi-Fi modems will interest people with multiple devices that spend a lot of time on the road. However, Telsyte’s research suggests tablet usage is mainly restricted to the home.

The Australian mobile services market had nearly 31 million services in operation at the end of December 2013. Telsyte estimates 23 per cent of all services are now running on high-speed 4G LTE networks.

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