We're all spending more than ever on our mobile phone bills - but that might not be a bad thing

Using Apple Pay to pay for shopping
(Image credit: Apple)

Increased 5G coverage coupled with rising smartphone penetration in developing markets will drive a surge in mobile phone users using their operator to make purchases other than communications. 

A report from Juniper Research suggests global carrier billing spend will increase from $54.4 billion to $73.8 billion by 2026 as mobile subscribers choose to pay for goods and services via their mobile provider.

New 5G-enabled mobile gaming services will drive some of this growth, as well demand for video subscriptions, and digital ticketing.

Mobile bill payments 

In some cases, adding the cost of these services to a monthly bill or paying for them via prepaid credit is a more convenient option than using a card or alternative digital wallet – especially in developing nations where banking services are inaccessible or too expensive.

Operators have been urged to take advantage of their pre-existing relationships with consumers and the trust that exists between them to capture this demand and create compelling bundles and services that drive increased activity.

Mobile ticketing in particular is seen as a significant area for growth, and when combined with Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging to deliver real time travel updates could represent a hugely compelling proposition for consumers and businesses.

“Operators should focus on demonstrating their relevance to transit; driving the further growth of carrier billing via an improved range of technology partnerships,” declared Research author Susannah Hampton.

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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.