Everyone is getting a smartphone lately, cheap or expensive, we are all connected to the internet almost 24/7. The price of data bundles is steadily decreasing, or atleast internet service providers are giving options on bundle sizes to suit each user’s needs.
Research corporation Gartner has predicted that this growth will grow globally by about 59% from 2014 this year (2015).
Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner, said,“Mobile data traffic is soaring worldwide, more than tripling by 2018. New, fast mobile data connections (3G and 4G) will grow more slowly, from 3.8 billion in 2015 to 5.1 billion in 2018, as users switch from slower 2G connections and consume more mobile data.” (Source: Gartner Newsroom)
In a previous survey Gartner carried out in the USA and Germany, most of the respondents when asked what they use when downloading, uploading or streaming content gave the response that they waited to connect to a WiFi router rather than use their mobile data. The same is true for Zambia, where we don’t want to ‘chew‘ through our bundles. Most prefer to use either WiFi at their workplace, or at someone else’s home (l the guilty faces in the room).
The only way we can get more users of bigger volume data is to increase the rate at which they are capped at. We’re tired of ‘unlimited’ bundles that don’t make it past a gig. We can not continue to have to pay over K4 for only 20MB in a world that is making more usage of data consuming apps like Instagram. That bundle is just merely to open the app’s home page!
“With video usage as a percentage of total data usage set to rise from 50 percent now to 60 percent by 2018, we should expect CSPs to offer the best-of-breed video experience to consumers,” said Ms. Ekholm.
“This involves using video optimization technologies and caching content closer to the consumer. Contract plans that single out video traffic to allow users to reach a certain cap (without touching their contract data cap) will increase usage and revenue for CSPs and meet consumer demand for more mobile video.
The key to obtaining long-term revenue growth for CSPs is how effectively they can market and sell the value of more expensive high-cap or unlimited data plans to their customers.
The evidence is that once customers commit to a larger plan, their usage habits change significantly, resulting in longer-term revenue benefits for CSPs. This shows evidence of pent-up demand and an opportunity for those CSPs able to create the right package.”
(Source: Gartner Newsroom)
We also need developers to find a way to create mobile device apps that don’t use up too much of an internet data bundle but can still deliver high quality content. That’s a tricky situation but until it’s done/created, technology has not impressed us yet.
With more than 8 in 10 persons in Zambia owning a mobile device, the amount of time spent on them for internet access is increasing proportionately, leading to high mobile data usage across the country as a whole.