Global mobile data subscriptions on tablets will more than double from 2015 to 2021, reaching over 200 million in the process.
According to the Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS) service report, in the US in particular, three of the four top carriers have grown tablet connections to nearly 10 percent of their subscriber base.
But despite this, there is still room for growth as Verizon Wireless points out, but a testament to their focus on tablet growth strategies and a contributor to lower churn.
T-Mobile US CEO John Legere has called out Verizon’s tablet net adds on twitter, chiding his competitors for a lack of smartphone growth, but the now third ranked carrier would do well to amp up its tablet efforts and build on its innovative “comes with free data” and zero-rated music options to increase tablet subscriptions among its growing smartphone user base.
“Tablets are not a one-size fits all device, and the best approach is targeted offers with device portfolio and service plans to address the needs of each segment, much as is done (or should be done) with handsets,” says Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Wireless Operator Strategies.
“Strategy Analytics recommends bundling content for enterprise and consumer segments as a next step to make purchase of a 3G or 4G tablet with service plan more compelling.”
Around the globe, over 100 million wireless connections on cellular enabled tablets will be added through 2021 and by the same period, tablets will only account for 2 percent of total mobile subscriptions, a 2.7 percent population penetration rate.
Also, shared data plans and lower cost SIM-only tariffs will help increase the portion of tablets with data plans to 19 percent by 2021, equating to a 54 percent attach rate of data plans within the cellular tablet installed base.
“We are seeing an increase in use of equipment instalment plans (EIP) to lower the barriers for upfront purchase of a cellular-enabled tablet,” says Phil Kendall, Executive Director, Wireless Operator Strategies.
“In emerging markets, operator branded and other low cost tablets with good functionality, bundled with small initial or monthly free data allocations and targeted content are making tablets accessible to new users.”