February 2018 - Mobile termination rates drop 42% in three years in advanced economies
Mobile termination rates – the rates operators charge each other to connect calls – dropped by an average of 42% in OECD countries between end-2014 and end-2017 as a result of increased regulation and competition, according to new data released by the OECD.
Termination rates fell across the board in the OECD area over the three years – ultimately benefitting consumers – with the sharpest reductions in Mexico (-84%), Hungary (-80%) and Ireland (-73%). Termination rates are highest in Switzerland, whereas in the United States a new system (bill-and-keep) introduced for mobile carriers has reduced rates to zero.
Mobile termination rates (MTRs) in the OECD area, per minute, 2017
The latest update to the OECD broadband portal also shows that high-speed mobile Internet subscriptions grew by 93 million, or 7.6%, in the year to June 2017, taking mobile broadband penetration to over 100% in the OECD area for the first time. As of June 2017 there were 1.307 billion mobile broadband subscriptions in a population of 1.284 billion people, equating to 101.8 subscriptions per 100 people. The fastest growth in subscriptions was seen in Poland (33%) followed by Chile (24%), Slovenia (23%), Austria (23%) and Turkey (22%).
The portal shows that the cost of a high-usage mobile plan, which includes voice calls, fell in OECD countries from an average of USD 71 in May 2013 to USD 39 in May 2016 (at purchasing power parity).
Fixed-line broadband subscriptions in OECD countries reached 393 million as of June 2017, up from 378 million a year earlier, for an average of 30.6 per 100 inhabitants. Switzerland leads the pack with a penetration rate of 45.8 subscriptions per 100, followed by Denmark (42.9%), the Netherlands (42.2%), France (42%) and Norway (40.9%).
DSL remains the prevalent technology, making up 41% of fixed broadband subscriptions, but continues to be gradually replaced by fibre. Fibre now accounts for 22.3% of subscriptions thanks to a 15% jump in fibre subscriptions in the year to June 2017. Cable (33%) makes up most of the rest.
Turkey, Mexico and Chile had the highest year-on-year growth in fixed broadband penetration in the OECD area, with respective growth rates of 11.3%, 8% and 6.6%. New Zealand continues to expand fixed broadband apace, with a notable increase in fixed wireless of 76% in the past six months, made up of people taking their first broadband connection or shifting from DSL to fixed wireless, particularly where fibre to the residence has not reached their location in areas of lower population density. Meanwhile, Ireland had the highest expansion of fibre over the previous 12 months of 294%.
Data on machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, such as for Internet-connected vehicles, show that Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands remain the leaders in the number of M2M SIM cards in use per 100 people, with the caveat that data is not yet fully comparable for all countries. Sweden counts 101.5 M2M SIM cards per 100 inhabitants – a much higher level than most OECD countries that provided data. Overall, M2M/embedded mobile cellular subscriptions grew by over 20% in the last year in countries were the data was available.
The OECD’s broadband statistics cover the 35 OECD members plus accession country Colombia. You can download the underlying data, charts and broadband penetration maps for different countries at http://oe.cd/broadband.