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Oh Yeah, Voice Might Be Important

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most people, but a new study has found that (oh my!) most people use 3G phones for voice more than data. The report looked at how Hutchison’s 3 made their money, and despite massive efforts on the part of the 3 to make people think they really wanted data services like “videophoning” it seems that most people realized that a phone is a phone and wanted it as a voice device first. In fact, in many cases, 3 subscribers use fewer data services than on competing carriers, who haven’t promoted data nearly as much. Derek: Bear in mind that voice is still the lion’s share of carrier revenue. No carrier migrates to 3G just because it can offer faster mobile data: 3G delivers improved spectral efficiencies for voice, meaning it lowers the cost to carriers of providing a minute of voice. It is mostly the voice side that carriers will use to amortize the 3G investment, and the data revenue is the icing on the cake. Hutch in the UK has so far failed to successfully market the icing, but has using the cost advantage to lower voice prices, and compete on that.

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