Analysts hail end of ‘golden age’ in telecoms as revenue growth slows


Figures from Ovum show global mobile revenues will decline for the first time in the history of the mobile industry in 2018

The “golden age” of telecoms growth is nearing an end, analysts have warned, as figures show European mobile operators will see global revenues decline 1.5 per cent annually.

Figures from research firm Ovum published today (October 10) also show that global mobile connections will grow by less than four per cent annually between 2012 and 2018, from 6.5 billion to 8.1 billion.

Global mobile revenues will grow at less than half that rate, from $968 million (£) to $1.1 trillion (£) between 2012 and 2018.

The greatest rate of decline will be seen in the Middle East, where average revenue per user (ARPU) will fall by 2.5 per cent every year.

Amongst Western European operators the decline will by 1.5 per cent annually.

Global service revenues will decline in 2018 for the first time in the mobile industry’s history, Ovum said, by one per cent from 2017.

Ovum analyst for industry, communications and broadband Sara Kaufman said: “Growth will continue to slow in most markets around the world. When you compare connection and revenue CAGRs, it is clear that mobile operators are facing a new reality; they must do much more with much less.

“Consolidation will help to alleviate some market pressures and is inevitable in many markets. But the need for revenue stabilization is becoming paramount for a sustainable future.”