Friday, September 10, 2010

High growth in mobile market ending

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The global mobile phone sector will reach revenues of $1,000 billion (AUD 1089 billion) in 2015, a year later than anticipated and a sign that the market is maturing rapidly, according to Ovum.

In a new report, ‘Global mobile market outlook: 2010-15’, the independent telecoms analyst states that the global economic crisis and the maturity of the market have impacted revenues, which it originally anticipated would hit $1,000 billion (AUD 1089 billion) in 2014.

It also predicts that connections will grow to 7.4 billion in the next five years – a growth rate far outstripping revenues. This is driven, it states, by the emerging markets in Asia-Pacific, particularly the big three: China, India and Indonesia. Combined, these markets will contribute 2.8 billion connections by 2015, or 38 percent of the global total, the report reveals.

However, it warns that even these markets are not immune from the growing trend of ‘emerging maturity’ and that connection growth rates will decline rapidly in all markets towards the end of 2015.

Steven Hartley, report author and an Ovum principal analyst, said there was no denying that the global economic crisis has impacted revenues. He 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 (AUD 1089 billion) revenues worldwide in 2015, compared with 2014 in our previous forecasts.”

The report also reveals that the effects of emerging market growth and intense competition worldwide will cause a sea change in the behaviour of mobile operators keen to thrive in 2015, leading them to become increasingly cost-focused.

And when it comes to mobile services, the report predicts that there will be continued growth in data services, but that voice will remain key.

Steven said, “Total global data revenues are expected to reach $392.9 billion (AUD 428 billion) in 2015, a CAGR of 11 percent 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 percent of total revenues in 2015. In Asia-Pacific voice revenues will still provide 57 percent of total mobile revenues in 2015.”

Meanwhile, the report reveals that the growing maturity and competition of the mobile sector will move the industry towards its 2020 vision of SMART (services, management, applications, relationships and technology) and LEAN (low-cost enablers of agnostic networks) players.

“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,” concludes Hartley.

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