New Pyramid Research forecasts global mobile phone subscriptions will reach seven billion by December this year – representing 100 percent penetration.
Most growth will be in Africa and the Middle East.
Given the stagnation, intense competition, disruptive business models and consumer choice characterising most developed markets, Pyramid anticipates telecom service revenue growth in developing markets will overtake that in developed countries by a factor of 5:1.
Around 90 percent of the two billion subscribers coming online in the next five years will reside in emerging markets.
For the first time, mobile service revenues in these regions will be larger than those in developed markets in 2015.
In comments to Mobile Europe, an Orange spokesperson reinforced the point anticipting significant growth in the 20 African and Middle East countries where it has approximately 80 million customers. Orange aims to increase revenues in
developing markets from the current €3.7 billion to €7 billion by 2015.
ABI Research statistics show base station expenditures in Asia Pacific alone in Q3 2012 were $7.6 billion (double the previous year), representing over half the total market and four times that in Western Europe or North America.
In comparison, North American spend grew 27 percent year-on-year in Q3 2012.
The total wireless infrastructure equipment market continued a downward trend in Q3 2012 reaching $15.4 billion – a 3.1 percent decrease from Q2 and 18.9 percent down on the same period in 2011.
Pyramid believes that while developing countries are comparatively slow in allocating 4G spectrum, when they do award licences, they will be in a good position to complete the process successfully having learned from others’ experiences.
Relatively rich emerging market carriers will continue to exploit the economic climate to acquire European assets.
Despite stagnant European markets there are still opportunities especially in data services.
ABI Research suggests an enterprise MVNO targeting “specific industry verticals and offering a range of VAS including telecom expense, mobile device and application development management, combined with overall management services, could yield attractive margins, contributing around 25 percent of revenues per employee.”
This rises to a 34 percent high if M2M connections and management are added, the firm added.
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