Voice Grows, SMS Grows And Of Course, Mobile Data Grows – Some Numbers

Contrary to popular belief that voice and SMS use is diminishing in mobile networks, Vodafone Germany has posted some interesting quarterly results. Here are some highlights:

Growing Use of Voice Calling

35.8 Million users accumulated 14.25 billion (!) voice minutes in 3 months. That's 132 minutes per month per user on average. And that number is not declining, it is actually 1.16 billion minutes higher from the same quarter a year ago, or +8.9%. Voice calling in mobile networks might become cheaper all the time but definitely not less used. Other text based communication forms might become more popular and replace voice calling in some instances but I think these numbers make it quite clear that new forms of communication are still mostly adding to traditional voice calls and texting rather than replacing it.

Rising Use of Texting

Yes, there is WhatsApp, iMessage, Google Talk, etc. etc. but the number of SMS messages still keeps growing. The press report mentions a growth of 8.9%. It's not quite clear to me if this refers to revenue growth or an increase in number of messages being exchanged. But since SMS texting is not getting more expensive the number is likely to contain both. In other words no reason to be ashamed or feeling old fashioned for preferring SMS texting to WhatsApp anc Co. 🙂

Increasing use of Smartphones and Mobile Data

A couple of interesting data points here: 80% of mobile devices being sold with a contract this quarter are smartphones. On the prepaid side, probably not one of Vodafone's strengths as a premium network, smartphone sales are 1 in 3 at the moment.

Data excluding SMS and MMS now generated 28.5% of overall mobile revenue. To set this into perspective: Total voice + texting revenue was 1234 million Euros, data accounted for 492 million Euros, up from 411 million Euros (or 19.6%) from the previous year. That number is interesting as it shows that revenue from voice and text has been pretty much flat, slightly down by 1 million Euros from 1235 million Euros a year ago.