Table of Contents
This report focuses on trends from the North American quarterly trackers.
In the beginning of this year, Frost & Sullivan published its first tracking dynamics report, based on quarterly trackers that identified and quantified trends and market shifts. Through this tracking, Frost & Sullivan found that video, broadband, and wireless markets grew in terms of subscribers and revenue; while the voice market continued to decline, as a result of alternative services, such as VoIP and wireless.
This trend continued during the first half of 2013; however, tracking data indicates that the video market has declined in terms of subscribers, due to serious erosion among cable TV operators. Furthermore, growth from IPTV subscribers did not exceed the cable TV net loss. Yet, revenue for the cable TV market generated positive growth year over year. This is an indication that consumers are buying premium TV packages, and/or that cable operators are increasing prices for their TV packages.
Nevertheless, Frost & Sullivan projects that the North American telecommunications market will continue to grow in terms of subscriber and revenue over the next five years, as consumers focus more on data-enabled services.
Understanding the dynamics of the market is essential to plotting a course through this very competitive space. This report will be of interest to telecommunications carriers, network operators and those companies that provide them technology.
Consumer Communications Market
Before the major trends and market shifts that occurred during the first half of 2013 are examined, it is first necessary to examine the North American consumer telecommunications market. Frost & Sullivan identifies the consumer telecommunications market as the quad play: broadband, video, voice, and wireless services. Each is documented in a quarterly tracker that displays the individual service in terms of subscriptions, revenue, net additions/losses, and market share data.
In terms of the combined quad play, the North American consumer market grew from 637.2 million subscribers in 2012 to million subscribers in 2013. Individually, wireless and broadband generated positive growth, while voice and video markets struggled to retain customers. It is to no surprise that voice service is declining, given ‘cord cutters’ and the influence of alternative voice services, such as VoIP and wireless. However, it is interesting to see the same dynamic in the video market, due to the serious erosion of subscribers to cable TV. Interestingly, IPTV is not growing at a sufficient rate to overcome the loss of cable subscribers.
Cable TV operators are having trouble maintaining their subscribership. For the first six months of 2013, cable TV lost an estimated million subscribers; a further decrease of from the first six months of 2012. Cable operators can attribute the loss of subscribers to increased prices, an intensely competitive landscape, and service availability. It is important to note that there typically is seasonality during the second quarter because of college kids moving back home or families traveling during the summer break.
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