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Slow Growth Forecast for $1 Trillion Mobile Services Market

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Although mobile service revenue growth accelerated in 2010 as mobile operators benefitted from growing consumer spend after the recession, a similar boost in 2011 is unlikely. The Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS) service report predicts revenue growth will slow to 4% in 2011 as the sector crawls toward the $1 trillion revenue mark.

Mobile subscriptions will pass 6 billion this year as the world moves towards a 100% penetration rate by early 2014. Significant new subscription growth opportunities exist for mobile operators in new connected device categories, even though increasingly saturated markets for traditional mobile voice services will result in a slow-down in global growth rates.

"2010 was a good year overall for mobile operators due to the improving macro-economic climate," commented Phil Kendall, Director, Wireless Operator Strategies and author of the report. "However, we will not see a return to pre-recession growth rates as subscription growth moves to more marginal industry segments and mobile voice, the industry cash cow, reaches its peak."

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Mobile Broadband Opportunities, adds, "With growth still concentrated in developed markets, 3G and 4G networks increasingly dominate the revenue picture and will account for half of all worldwide mobile service revenues this year. Beginning next year, Global 2G subscriptions will begin to fall as more affordable 3G devices allow operators to push services beyond higher-spending segments."

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