Research Notes

The American mobile market faces a paradigm shift

The question is whether any Americans realize that international trends will come to the USA.

Many believe that America has little to learn about the mobile industry by looking at other countries, but that would be unwise, for the USA is just 7% of the world’s mobile market. Strand Consult has 170 carriers worldwide on its client list and the knowledge of the global mobile industry. Knowledge is the path to success, and there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Here are some of Strand Consult’s research notes on strategy, network coverage, smartphones, the MVNO market, and the prepaid market for your review.

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have a naive belief that they can serve all Americans with a “one size fits all” model. Around the world, however, successful carriers have multibrand strategies to monetize different market segments. Learn more.

Many carriers have used MVNOs to execute their multibrand strategy. Read more.

It is unfortunate that T-Mobile in the US has not learned from KPN and E-Plus in Germany. T-Mobile, the daughter company of the largest German carrier Deutsche Telecom, could implement the proven strategy of E-Plus and get more success than with their current path of attempting to copy Verizon and AT&T. Read more here or here.

American consumers blame their carrier for poor mobile coverage, and they don’t recognize the role of the smartphone in network experience. Together with a number of experts, Strand Consult has looked at this issue and found that some 70% of bad network experience can be attributed to the poor quality of new smartphones. Read more here or here. Not only do carriers fail to tell their customers about this, but smartphone manufacturers prohibit carriers from disclosing their products’ shortcomings.

The U.S. is a post-paid market, but prepaid dominates mobile subscriptions in most countries like Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Italy. American carriers have much to learn about prepaid. Strand Consult made a two year global research project on the prepaid market. Read more.

The American mobile market is facing a paradigm shift in structure and revenue. Fundamental changes to create competition and ensure profitability are needed. A new Chairman of the FCC can make a difference, but there is also a need for industry to take initiative. A new greenfield carrier is not likely, so companies need to think in new ways, out of the box.

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