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OVUM COMMENT: Data buckets arrive to cater for the “connected person”

Nicole McCormick, Ovum Senior Analyst, Telco Strategy | June 13, 2012
Spanish telco Telefonica, Canadian operator Rogers Wireless, Hong Kong operator CSL, and Norway’s Telenor are just some of the growing number of operators that offer data bucket plans.

Spanish telco Telefonica, Canadian operator Rogers Wireless, Hong Kong operator CSL, and Norway’s Telenor are just some of the growing number of operators that offer data bucket plans.

Bucket plans provide operators with significant cost savings as they do not have to acquire and manage two separate subscriptions for a single customer. A combined account also makes it far easier for operators to find out what a customer is using their device for and when. This information makes upsell opportunities clearer and easier to implement, and enables the possibility of providing the data to third-party applications and advertisers.

But consumers will need to be educated about bucket plans, especially in markets where family voice and data sharing plans don’t already exist. Operators will also have to ensure that bucket plan users are provided with adequate data monitoring tools to prevent excess usage charges if big-screen devices unknowingly consume a high proportion of the bucket.

As the vast majority of consumers use tablets to connect to home Wi-Fi services, operators need to provide a compelling argument for consumers to take up a bucket plan.

While it is still early days for bucket plans, it is clear that they are here to stay and will become increasingly pervasive. Between 2011 and 2016, Ovum expects that mobile broadband connections from smartphones, tablets, and USB modems will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24% to reach almost 4 billion connections.

 

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