North America has always been a benchmark for fast migration to new mobile technologies, with the highest levels of mobile internet penetration, mobile broadband and smartphone adoption globally. Its mobile industry is now preparing for 5G, which will show the fastest rate of adoption globally, reaching half the region’s total mobile connections by 2025.
Following a challenging 2017, which saw intense competition result in the introduction of unlimited price plans across the US, the region’s mobile industry is showing signs of recovery, spurred by US tax reforms and increased device prices. Though there is some uncertainty ahead (around M&A deals and escalating trade disputes, for example), mobile operators are increasingly pursuing new incremental revenue opportunities to offset the decline in traditional mobile revenues. These include investments in content and media capabilities; 5G services targeted at the enterprise sector; IoT applications, platforms and services beyond basic connectivity; and new business models targeting the rapidly growing startup ecosystem.