Mobile Revenues To Hit $1 Trillion by 2013, says Informa

Annual revenues from the global mobile market will top $1.03 trillion (674) billion by 2013, when the number of subscriptions worldwide will have risen to more than 5.3 billion, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. From end-2007 to end-2013, the global mobile market will see huge growth, increasing in size by over half (56%), according to the latest edition of Informa Telecoms & Medias Global Mobile Forecasts to 2013.
It took over 20 years to reach 3 billion subscriptions, says Informa, but another 1.9 billion net additions are forecast in just six years, with the global total nudging past the 5 billion milestone in 2011. With this extraordinary growth, total annual revenues derived from mobile operators will grow by over a third (33.9%), jumping from $769 billion in 2007 to reach that figure of $1.03 trillion six years later.
Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts more than three quarters (78%) of global net additions between 2007 and 2013 to come from markets in Asia Pacific, Africa and Latin America, which it says will be the powerhouses of organic growth over the next five years. In fact, almost half (47%) of the 1.9 billion global net adds will come from just five markets: India, China, Indonesia, Brazil and Russia. By contrast, the mature markets of North America and Western Europe will in total contribute just 8% of global net adds, reflecting the high level of saturation in these markets.
Globally, subscription penetration will approach the 75% mark in 2013, while some countries will push past the 150% barrier, including Romania (152%), Russia (153%), Italy (168%), Ukraine (173%) and Greece (183%). Growth in subscriptions (the number of SIMs) will outstrip growth in subscribers (the number of unique users), pointing to greater multi-SIM ownership. The global ratio of subscriptions to subscribers will increase from 1.29 in 2007 to 1.32 in 2013. In Western Europe, the ratio will reach 1.55 in 2013, while in Eastern Europe it will be even higher at 1.75. 
Informa believes the high growth potential of developing markets reflects the entrance of new operators, as well as improvements in regional network roll-out and rising competition, which is expected to lower the barrier for new subscribers.
Reductions in voice tariffs, the option of very low-denomination prepaid top-ups and the greater availability of cheap 2G and 2.5G handsets will open out mobile services to low-income, low-ARPU subscribers who have never previously owned a mobile phone, says Chris Stamatakis, Research Analyst at Informa and Author of Global Mobile Forecasts to 2013.
As the global subscription base expands, total annual revenues will increase to over $1 trillion in 2012. Voice revenues will continue to make up the lions share of total revenues, but will see slowing growth, and even a decline from 2010 onwards. With regulators worldwide looking to promote competition, forcing operators to push down voice tariffs, Informa expects voice revenues to peak as soon as 2009 in Western Europe, and even by end-2008 in North America. In more developing markets such as the Middle East and Asia Pacific, voice revenues will not peak until 2011 (2012 in Latin America and the Caribbean).
Operators globally will be challenged to generate sustainable revenues, as ARPU continues to drop. To keep annual revenues on the up, operators will need to promote usage of data services, Informa believes. Annual data revenues, unlike voice revenues, will go from strength to strength, and will more than double from $148 billion in 2007 to $347 billion in 2013. As a result, the proportion of total revenues generated by data services will increase from less than a fifth (19.2%) in 2007 to over a third (33.7%) at the end of the forecast period.
With voice revenue streams diminishing, industry players will encourage data spend among subscribers by innovating in non-voice services and differentiating their data service offerings from those of their competitors. While 2G will remain the dominant technology generation by subscription numbers until 2013, its market share will fall from over two thirds (66.9%) in 2007 to less than one third (32.7%) in 2013, as 3G+ technologies continue to gain ground. 3.5G technologies accounted for just 1.2% of total subscriptions in 2007, but will represent nearly a quarter (22.9%) of the global subscription base by 2013, and will exceed the number of 3G subscriptions.
As more next-generation networks roll out, 3G and 3.5G traffic will grow vigorously and the number of global HSDPA subscriptions will increase exponentially in the short term, says Stamatakis. Furthermore, with migration to next-generation technologies already under way, with operators increasingly favouring HSDPA as they jump on the LTE bandwagon, Informa Telecoms & Media expects operators to focus increasingly on fulfilling consumers growing demand for mobile broadband which is becoming the long-sought killer app for mobile operators.
Now in its 8th edition, Global Mobile Forecasts to 2013 contains mobile subscription forecasts from 2008 – 2013 for every country worldwide. It also provides profiles for 35 countries worldwide and delivers granular forecasts based on the latest subscription and revenue data available.
The report costs 2,950 for a paper copy, 4,425 for a single-user PDF, or 5,900 for a paper copy plus single-user PDF. You can see a table of contents here. A brochure here. And you can order a copy of the report here.

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