Some 84% of the US population will have mobile phones by the end of 2007, with that percentage surpassing 100% in 2013, SNL Kagan estimates. Those figures include consumer, business and double-mobile-phone users.
SNL Kagan also forecasts US cell phone subscriptions to grow at a rate of about 3% per year over the next decade – versus total population growth of 1% – despite decreasing net additions as 100% penetration is approached.
The projections anticipate increased data use, including text, web and video, which could be accelerated by new-player business models – e.g., multimedia services that get partially subsidized by advertising, similar to the approaches being tested by Google, YouTube and others.
SNL Kagan also projects total US wireless service revenue to increase at a 5% CAGR from 2007 to 2017, from $155 billion this year to $253.6 billion in 2017.
Total industry average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to grow at an inflation-paced compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5% over the next 10 years, from $52.38 now to $61.09 in 2017.
Industry hopes run much higher for data ARPU, which is already in the high single digits and grew a significant 45% from the first quarter of 2006 to the first quarter of 2007 – from $5.92 to $8.58.
“If carriers can hold on to their position in the revenue chain, data is poised to give them a second growth spurt,” said SNL Kagan senior analyst Sharon Armbrust.
“While subscriber units and voice revenue will inch along, we expect data revenue to grow at a compound annual 14% rate over the next 10 years, rising to at least 22% of service revenue, compared to under 10% today.”