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IoT adds more total new subscribers than phones, tablets: report

connected car

Connected car adoption is strong

For the first time, the Internet of Things netted more additional subscribers for wireless networks than phones and tablets combined during the second quarter of 2016, according to a new report from Chetan Sharma Consulting. 

In another milestone, the percentage of revenue generated by wireless networks from mobile data crossed the 75 percent threshold for the first time in the second quarter. For marketers, these numbers underscore the growing importance of IoT and video experiences for marketers as consumers’ mobile behaviors continue to evolve. 

“Service provider IoT revenue passed the important $1B mark back in 2013,” said Chetan Sharma, in the report. “So far it is tracking the growth of the early days of mobile data. 

“However, they are different curves influenced by different factors,” he said. “Mobile data was relatively an easier curve to climb as the revenues went up with more data handsets coming online. The sales, business case, and ROI was straightforward.

“IoT is a bit more complicated as it across multiple vertical areas and it is not just about the data network, it is about the complete solution. The sales cycle and execution strategy is different and requires patience and resilience.”

Connected cars race ahead
Wireless networks saw higher net adds – or the number of new subscribers minus the number of customers who dropped service – for connected cars than for phones, according to the U.S. Mobile Marketer Update Q2 2016 report from Chetan Sharma Consulting. For the seventh straight quarter, AT&T added more car subscribers than phones and tablets combined. 

Net adds for IoT devices, including connected cars, exceeded phone and tablets combined. 

The growth in IoT subscribers is helping wireless network offset some of their losses as voice and messaging revenue decline. 

What the data says
While data revenues increased 8 percent year-over-year during the second quarter, voice revenues declined 31 percent. 

The U.S. is third behind Finland and Korea in terms of GB consumed per subscription per month and first among nations with populations of at least 60 million. 

With major mobile platforms such as Uber and Facebook reaching signification valuations, wireless networks are increasingly diversifying their revenue streams, with AT&T looking to become a more complete solution provider while Verizon’s acquisitions of AOL and Yahoo point to a platform strategy. 

“The logical conclusion is that mobile data growth will continue,” Mr. Sharma said. “The usage growth supports this view. 

“In fact, we believe that mobile data will subsume voice and messaging revenue streams and they will disappear from operator financials soon. It has already happened for some,” he said. 

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News Editor Chantal Tode covers advertising, messaging, legal/privacy and database/CRM. Reach her at chantal@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Research, IoT, mobile data, Chetan Sharma, mobile marketing, mobile

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