Global mobile revenues in slowdown


Global mobile phone industry revenues to hit $1,000 billion in 2015, not 2014, as markets mature

Global mobile phone industry revenues will not break the $1,000 billion barrier until 2015 as markets mature and the recovery from recession continues, according to analyst Ovum.

Ovum had predicted global revenues would hit $1,000 billion by 2014 but has deferred this target by a year due to the global economic crisis and maturity in the worldwide mobile market.

In its Global mobile market outlook: 2010-15 report, Ovum stated that connections will grow to 7.4 billion in the next five years. Growth will be driven by emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region, notably China, India and Indonesia. Ovum said, combined, these markets will contribute 2.8 billion connections by 2015, or 38 per cent of the global total.

However, Ovum warned that these markets will not be immune from maturity and that connection growth rates will decline rapidly in all markets towards the end of 2015.

Report author and Ovum principal analyst Steven Hartley (pictured) said: “The days of high growth in the mobile market are ending.

“Every region has shown a marked slowdown in revenue growth between 2008 and 2009 and the result is that we now expect $1,000 billion revenues worldwide in 2015, compared with 2014 in our previous forecasts.”

Data revenues will continue to grow, although voice revenues will remain a staple for the industry.

Hartley said: “Total global data revenues are expected to reach $392.9 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 11 per cent from 2009 to 2015.

“North America and Western Europe will drive data revenue growth. Nonetheless, Asia Pacific will be the largest contributor of data revenues due to its sheer volume of connections and presence of significant data markets.

“However, despite continued and immense pressure on voice services, they will remain the single greatest contributor to mobile operator revenues, with only North America seeing voice contribute less that 50 per cent of total revenues in 2015.”

For operators, market maturity and increasing competition will force them to change their outlook and become focused on services, management, applications, relationships and technology (SMART), while at the same time becoming low-cost enablers of agnostic networks (LEAN).

Hartley said: “Mobile operators are likely to chase the SMART role over the next five years, although we believe that very few will succeed. Most operators will need to evolve to become LEAN players in the longer term.”