One of the “problems” with being early to commercialize any important product is that one reaches the maturity phase of the product sooner than others. That arguably is the case for mobile internet access services, voice and messaging for NTT Docomo and mobile operators in the United Kingdom.
To be clear, many mobile operators, in many countries and regions, are later in the adoption cycle for mobile voice, messaging and mobile internet. They are still seeing revenue and subscription growth.
The point is that every product eventually reaches a peak, and then tends to decline. Some mobile operators simply have more time before that point is reached. Still, maturation will matter.
After mobile subscriptions saturate, after messaging likewise peaks, and when most customers who want mobile internet access already buy it, what comes next?
That is the big question facing developed market operators, and explains why there is such a rush to get 5G into place. Simply put, 5G is the key to internet of things, and IoT is viewed as the key to the next wave of value creation, services and revenues to replace declining legacy access service revenues.