Mobile data revolution coming for SA: research

South African smartphone users spent significantly less on voice calls and more on data in 2013 compared to 2012, new research shows.

The Mobility 2014 research study, conducted by World Wide Worx and Dashboard with the backing of First National Bank, revealed that voice spend decreased from 73% to 65% in 2013.

It also showed that the 19–24 age group, which World Wide Worx said represents students and entrants into the workforce, is abandoning voice faster than any other segment.

Only 56% of this group’s mobile budget is now spent on voice, down from 66% in mid–2012. Its data spend, on the other hand, has increased from 17% to 24%.

Mobility 2014 mobile expenditure breakdown
Mobile expenditure breakdown: Mobility 2014

“Older users continue to spend far more overall, but the powerful shift in spend from voice to data will work its way up the age segments in the coming years,” Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx was quoted as saying in a press release announcing the results.

“Already, we are seeing a flattening out of the curve of data use from the 25–34 through to the 46–55 age groups,” Goldstuck said. “Only above that age does data spend drop off – but not very significantly.”

Contract users also tend to spend more on data than pre-paid users do, the study showed.

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Mobile data revolution coming for SA: research