Global Mobile Revenue Growth Slows to 2 Percent in Q3 2013

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Annual global mobile service revenue increased by just 2 percent in Q3 2013 half the growth rate achieved in 2012 according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. The report shows rapid deterioration in Western Europe in stark contrast to the improving picture in leading 4G LTE markets such as the US South Korea and Japan.

Strategy Analytics' quarterly Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking database tracks the operational and financial performance of operators that account for 78 percent of the world's mobile subscriptions.

The database highlights a widening gap between annual revenue growth in South Korea (4 percent), the US (3 percent), Japan (1 percent) and Western Europe (-9 percent), where economic challenges, competitive intensity and more limited promotion of LTE services have contributed to a worsening financial position for mobile operators.

"Europe's mobile operators are still struggling to correct market declines, with the deteriorating performance helping to fuel recent consolidation in the region," noted Phil Kendall, Director or Strategy Analytics' Wireless Operator Strategies service and author of the report. "4G LTE has yet to provide much of a revenue boost here, with operators struggling to identify revenue-enhancing growth stories and so resorting to improving value for customers through lower prices."

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director of Wireless Operators & Networks, added "The picture in Japan, South Korea and the US is more encouraging, where revenue growth has been maintained or improved through rapid migration of connection volumes to 4G and pricing successes in areas such as tiered and shared data plans. LTE is not the answer to all Europe's woes, but will be important in helping to shift mobile user behavior from price-based to more quality-based decisions."

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