Prepaid wireless service market  Development, Innovation, Opportunities And Growth To 2018 - 2026

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 The number of mobile phone owners around the globe has increased drastically. All regions around the globe are getting access to internet and mobile phones. According to World Bank data, in developing regions like sub-Saharan Africa, more than 60% of the population have mobile phones. Today, mobile phones are affordable, easy to use, and provide several benefits with minimum requirement of any expertise to handle the device. The capability of mobile phones to provide diverse interactive activities including text messaging, calling,mobile apps, and web browsing have made them highly popular. Not only simple mobile phones but smartphones have also witnessed strong penetration around the globe. More than half of the global population own smartphones today. Smartphone owners are spending more and more time on their device for social networking and calling purposes. This in turn has given a boost to prepaid wireless service across the globe. Moreover, with cheaper voice and data plans available, mobile owners are opting for prepaid services over postpaid.

Mobile owners are opting for prepaid wireless services over postpaid and contract based services due to affordability and flexibility to switch operators. Moreover, millennials and senior population around the globe prefer prepaid services more, which in turn have made prepaid services highly popular in regions like North America and Europe. Internet users are another major factor that has given a push to the market. Active internet users around the globe have gained momentum in recent years which has increased the demand for affordable data plans.Growing dependency on mobile phonesto organize work and personal data is also driving the market. Additionally, opportunity for further smartphone penetration in developing regionssuch as Asia, Africa, and the MiddleEast is anticipated to propel the prepaid wireless service market.

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Globally, the prepaid wireless service market is segmented based on connectivity and type. In terms of connectivity, the market is segmented into 2G, 3G, and 4G connectivity. Based on type, the market is segregated into data and voice. In terms of connectivity, 4G occupies the largest share of more than 50% in the overall prepaid wireless service market. Demand for 2G connectivity has drastically fallen over a period of time largely due to rollout of 4G/LTE connectivity which is much faster. Moreover, TMR believes that after the commercial roll out of 5G services, 3G connectivity services will also start losing its market. The year-on-year growth in 3G connectivity services have become stable and will start declining from the initial months of 2019. As and when large populations around the globe become active users of internet, the demand for affordable and fast data plans will increase, which in turn will increase the demand for 4G, 4.5G, and 5G connectivity services.

In terms of type, voice occupies the largest share in the market. However, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of data is expected to be higher than voce during the forecastperiod. The reason for the same is behavioral shift among individuals. Today, people are spending significant amount of time on their smartphone, using it to complete all kinds of crucial work, right from socializing to financial transactions. This is therefore creating demand for internet data plans.

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Prepaid Wireless Service Market - Snapshot

A prepaid wireless service provides most of the services offered by a mobile phone operator. The big difference is that with prepaid wireless service, payment for service is made before use. As calls and texts are made, and as data is used, deductions are made against the prepaid balance amount until no funds remain (at which time services stop functioning). A user may avoid interruptions in service by making payments to increase the remaining balance.

ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless are some of the big cell phone carriers across the globe. Often called mobile network operators (MNOs), they own their networks and compete aggressively on price, plans, and phones. Prepaid wireless service, on the other hand, typically price their no-contract plans much lower than the MNOs, because these carriers don't maintain their own network infrastructure and licensed radio spectrum. Instead, most prepaid wireless service are mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that buy minutes wholesale from the major carriers and resell them to you at retail prices.

A prepaid wireless service may have a lower cost (often for low usage patterns e.g. a telephone for emergency use) and make it easier to control spending by limiting debt and controlling usage. They often have fewer contractual obligations – no early termination fee, freedom to change providers, plans, able to be used by those unable to take out a contract (i.e. under age of majority). Depending on the local laws, they may be available to those who do not have a permanent address, phone number, or credit card.

Sometimes, pay-as-you-go customers pay more for their calls, SMS and data, than contract customers. In some cases they are limited in what they can do with their phone – calls to international or premium-rate telephone numbers may be blocked, and they may not be able to roam. Current models being deployed by prepeaid wireless service carriers are capable of setting the price points for all services on an individual basis (via packages), such that higher pricing is a marketing decision.

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