Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mobile industry Q3 slowdown worsens as Europe shrinks

BOSTON, USA: Mobile service revenues fell for the first time in Eastern Europe in Q3 2009, as the global recession continues to cast a shadow over operator results. The new Strategy Analytics report, “Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking, Q3 2009,” found that only the Asia-Pacific region managed to post a small recovery and increase revenue growth rates.

This Wireless Network Strategies (WNS) research, which tracks the operational and financial performance of the 190 mobile operators who account for over 75 percent of global subscribers, found continued evidence of the recession’s impact on service trends:

* The prepaid customer base is streamlining; users are consolidating accounts, driving up prepaid churn rates;
* Users are taking advantage of price cuts on voice and text to save money rather than increase usage;
* New, rather than existing, users and service patterns are driving revenues; non-messaging data services represent the only significant source of revenue growth in this sector.

“Operators have succeeded in managing expenses, since revenues remain sluggish in almost all regions,” comments Phil Kendall, Director Wireless Network Strategies. “Despite the revenue problems, global EBITDA margins have held firm and cash flow is remarkably strong as operators take more pragmatic approaches to CAPEX needs.”

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Senior Analyst Wireless Network Strategies, adds: “Mobile revenue growth is coming from services beyond voice and text, with browsing on handsets and PCs still performing well. To keep revenues moving forward in the current economic climate, operators need to focus on the types of services that open up new use cases for customers.”

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