Data on 3G subscribers is from Mary Meeker’s ‘Internet Trends 2010’ presentation from Morgan Stanley. Created using Tableau Public visualization software.
What can we learn from these charts? First, let’s look at ARPU growth. It seems there is fairly broad pressure on ARPU across the board. The big players, however, are holding their own around 0% change in ARPU YoY. The highest ARPU is concentrated among US and European service providers. Note that AT&T’s wireline business is listed separately from the wireless business. The greatest drop in ARPU last year was felt by the smaller regional players in Asia and India.
Now let’s look at market cap for service providers versus blended ARPU and number of subscribers. It is interesting to see that firms with the highest market cap are placed along a line that maximizes either ARPU or number of subscribers. The small players in the previous chart likewise show up with low market cap, ARPU, and subscribers. They clearly have a long way to go to reach the profitable horizon of the big players.