2008 Global Mobile Communications - Statistics, Trends & Forecasts

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of the mobile sector. Information at a regional level is also provided for the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. The report includes analyses, statistics, forecasts and trends. It provides a comprehensive insight into the progress of mobile and examines some the issues and opportunities.  

Subjects covered include:

·          The future of the mobile industry;

·          Worldwide and regional mobile subscriber statistics;

·          Worldwide mobile ARPU and revenue;

·          Overview of worldwide call charges;

·          Mobile prepaid sector;

·          MVNO market;

·          Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC);

·          Mobile infrastructure;

·          Termination rates, Roaming, Mobile Number Portability (MNP);

·          Mobile spectrum developments;

·          Regional overview.

 

Researchers: Paul Budde, Lawrence Baker, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Phil Harpur, Kay Harris, Lisa Hulme-Jones, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Kylie Wansink

Edition: 12th

Current Publication Date: February 2008

Next Publication Date; Mar 2009

 

Executive Summary

While it still too early to claim a turnaround, it is clear that the mobile industry is undergoing profound changes. The saturated developed markets are forcing the industry to find new revenue streams and we are now seeing other organisations such as media companies, content providers, Internet media companies and private equity companies becoming involved in this market.

 

The emerging markets are also making their mark on the mobile sector; many of the less mature regions around the world are showing significant growth and operators around the world are certainly taking note. The worldwide mobile subscriber base is still growing and this can be attributed heavily to the growth in these markets, with many regions such as Asia Pacific having room for more growth ahead. In 2008 there are now more than 3 billion mobile subscribers worldwide and some of the more mature markets have over 100% penetration. For more information, see chapter 1.2.1, page 4

 

Mobile ARPU levels differ widely between the regions of the world; however, on the whole all regions have experienced declines in ARPU over the past few years. While the emerging markets are a growth area for mobile services, the ARPU from these markets is low compared with the developed markets. In 2008 overall mobile ARPU levels are expected to decline by at least another 4%. ARPU from mobile voice services has been particularly affected by cuts to tariff rates and the trend towards voice-data substitution. While voice still makes up the majority of mobile traffic, mobile data now contributes around 10% of global mobile ARPU. For more information, see chapter 1.3, page 9.

 

Operators still struggle to acquire satisfactory ARPU from prepaid mobiles, despite its popularity. Prepaid mobiles now account for more than 60% of the worldwide mobile subscriber base and continue to grow by around 60% per annum. The prepaid model has taken off around most of the world with many countries seeing an ongoing high level of growth. The emerging markets in particular favour prepaid mobile phones, with some markets having over 80% penetration of prepaid compared with the contract segment. For more information, see chapter 1.4.2.1, page 17.

 

With more competitors entering the market, mobile communications is rapidly becoming a commodity. Companies that will be able to develop interesting new business models on top of the mobile infrastructure will be much better positioned to entice the end-users. Despite evidence that some MVNOs around the world are struggling, in our opinion MVNOs can still play an important role in the telco industry as long as the business models are changed. MVNOs that are able to focus on customer service and branding will be in a prime position to develop these new business models. For more information, see chapter 2, page 21.

 

With everyone vying for new revenue streams, network operators are looking to attract customers from outside the established wireless market. Given the right regulatory and pricing conditions, mobile operators can compete directly with carriers by offering fixed services over their wireless networks. Neither fixed nor mobile operators can afford to develop their services in isolation any longer; unified services benefit all sides of the industry. Fixed mobile convergence has become a major goal of operators, but it also stands in opposition to a related trend, and goal, of mobile operators: fixed-to-mobile substitution. While the total number of fixed phone lines in the world is still increasing slowly, wireless is growing much more quickly. In Finland in particular, 90% of all voice calls are expected to originate from a mobile phone in 2008; interestingly the Finnish market also has some of the cheapest mobile call charges in the world. Mobile phone usage is also attributed to the increase in overall voice traffic in Western Europe. For more information, see chapter 3, page 28.

 

In 2008 GSM technologies account for around 85% of the world’s digital mobile phones, the equivalent of over 2.6 billion users. This market share is expected to grow even more due to increasing mobile penetration in the developing markets. With GSM being the leader in terms of 2G, the focus of the CDMA camp has turned to 3G which includes the technologies that bridge the gap to 3G (CDMA 2000) and its 3G successor CDMA2000 1x EV-DO. However, WCDMA technologies currently account for the majority of all 3G subscriptions worldwide. For more information, see chapter 4, page 38.

 

Short range wireless technology has revolutionised the personal connectivity market by providing freedom from wired connections. The installed base of Bluetooth devices has passed the 1 billion mark and there is some evidence that growth is beginning to slow. Despite this, it continues to be widely adopted throughout the telecommunications, IT and home entertainment industries, as well as such diverse areas as automotive and health care, reaching almost all sectors of the economy. UWB however has the potential to be faster than Bluetooth and despite the absence of a global standard, manufacturers, including Dell have started to ship the first UWB-enabled laptop computers. For more information, see chapter 4.4, page 62.

 

This report provides an insight and analysis into the trends and developments taking place in the mobile communications sector. Mobile data is covered in detail in a separate annual publication. The report comprises a global overview of the progress of mobile technologies and subscribers, including 3G. Statistics on ARPU, mobile revenue, call charges and prepaid are included as well as information on spectrum developments, termination fees, roaming and mobile number portability. Developments at a regional level are also provided for North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. The report contains BuddeComm’s analyses of the current and future mobile sector. For more information, see chapter 5, page 71.

 

 

Key highlights:

·          In terms of 3G, CDMA 2000 1x EV-DO captures around 36% of the market, compared with WCDMA with over 60%.

·          Data applications were the main source of growth for mobile satellite services in 2007. For more information, see chapter 4.5, page 70.

·          International roaming charges are beginning to decline and the cost of making and receiving calls while abroad is becoming cheaper, particularly in Europe. For more information, see chapter 5.1.2, page 72.

·          Worldwide over 60% of mobile subscribers use prepaid.

·          With subscriber penetration levels reaching 83% by early 2008, the US carriers and particularly the MVNOs are increasingly offering prepaid plans to attract the remaining 20% of non-subscribers. For more information, see chapter 7.1.1, page 86.

·          Despite the publicised problems experienced by some MVNOs, there is growth head for this market and BuddeComm sees MVNOs still playing an important role in the telco industry – as long as business models are changed.

 

Worldwide MVNO subscribers – 2005 - 2006; 2008; 2011

Region

2005

2006

2008 (e)

2011 (e)

MVNO subscribers (million)

Worldwide

55

85

107

126

(Source: BuddeComm, 2008)

 

·          There are now more than a quarter of a billion mobile subscribers in Africa.

·          In South Africa, mobile data revenue now accounts for close to 10% of total mobile revenues. For more information, see chapter 7.4.1, page 100.

·          Despite subscriber growth continuing at close to double-digit figures in 2007, Canada’s wireless penetration still lingers amongst the lowest in the OECD. For more information, see chapter 7.1.2, page 87.

 

Table of Contents

  • 1. Global Mobile Market Overview
    • 1.1 Mobile market analysis
      • 1.1.1 Introduction
      • 1.1.2 The start of the mobile revolution?
      • 1.1.3 Data is the future
      • 1.1.4 All roads lead to 4G
    • 1.2 Mobile subscriber statistics
      • 1.2.1 Subscriber growth
      • 1.2.2 2007-2008 published statistics and forecasts
      • 1.2.3 The effect of taxes on mobile subscription
    • 1.3 Mobile revenue, ARPU and call charges
      • 1.3.1 Mobile usage and call charges overview
      • 1.3.2 Overview of global ARPU developments
      • 1.3.3 Mobile ARPU statistics & forecasts
      • 1.3.4 Mobile revenue growth and CAPEX forecast
    • 1.4 Mobile prepaid
      • 1.4.1 Prepaid mobile services
      • 1.4.2 Prepaid trends and developments
      • 1.4.3 Prepaid mobile statistics and forecasts
      • 1.4.4 Mandatory registration
  • 2. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 2.1 MVNO market in 2008
      • 2.1.1 Definitions
      • 2.1.2 Marketing considerations
      • 2.1.3 MVNO developments – analysis
      • 2.1.4 Key MVNO countries
      • 2.1.5 Some MVNOs struggle to find value
      • 2.1.6 Content-orientated MVNOs
      • 2.1.7 MVNO subscribers and revenue
  • 3. Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)
    • 3.1 FMC developments
      • 3.1.1 Fixed-mobile convergence
      • 3.1.2 Fixed-Mobile Convergence Alliance (FMCA)
      • 3.1.3 FMC equipment market
      • 3.1.4 IP convergence the future anyway – analysis
      • 3.1.5 Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
      • 3.1.6 Mobile – the missing link
      • 3.1.7 New business models for mobile
  • 4. Mobile Infrastructure
    • 4.1 2G: CDMA, TDMA
      • 4.1.1 Introduction
      • 4.1.2 2G infrastructure
      • 4.1.3 Moving into 3G
      • 4.1.4 Other developments
      • 4.1.5 Statistics and forecasts – CDMA technologies
    • 4.2 2G: GSM
      • 4.2.1 Introduction
      • 4.2.2 GSM features and developments
    • 4.3 3G and transition to 4G
      • 4.3.1 The time for 3G has arrived, but no cheering from the operators
      • 4.3.2 Published 3G statistics and forecasts
      • 4.3.3 Analysis – hard realities of the mobile market
      • 4.3.4 Brief case study – Hutchison 3
      • 4.3.5 Analysis – 3G, still a way to go
      • 4.3.6 Conclusion – the reality of 3G and mobile data
    • 4.4 Bluetooth and UWB
      • 4.4.1 Introduction: Bluetooth
      • 4.4.2 Wibree
      • 4.4.3 Ultra-Wideband UWB))
      • 4.4.4 Bluetooth-UWB merger
      • 4.4.5 Growth of Bluetooth – statistics & forecasts
      • 4.4.6 Bluetooth technology
      • 4.4.7 Application examples
      • 4.4.8 Other developments
    • 4.5 Mobile satellite networks
  • 5. Mobile Competition and Regulations
    • 5.1 Termination rates, roaming, Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 5.1.1 Introduction: mobile competition
      • 5.1.2 Mobile Termination Rates (MTR)
      • 5.1.3 Roaming
      • 5.1.4 Number Portability (NP)
  • 6. Mobile and Wireless Spectrum
    • 6.1 Spectrum and the mobile market
      • 6.1.1 Spectrum developments
      • 6.1.2 Radio spectrum utilisation
      • 6.1.3 Spectrum auctions
      • 6.1.4 Developments in the US
      • 6.1.5 Developments in Europe
      • 6.1.6 Spectrum trading – analysis
  • 7. Regional Overviews
    • 7.1 North America
      • 7.1.1 USA
      • 7.1.2 Canada
    • 7.2 Latin America
      • 7.2.1 Mobile trends
      • 7.2.2 Mobile statistics
      • 7.2.3 Mobile forecasts
      • 7.2.4 Mobile technologies
    • 7.3 Europe
      • 7.3.1 Overview
      • 7.3.2 Investment forecasts
      • 7.3.3 Revenue forecasts
      • 7.3.4 Mobile statistics
      • 7.3.5 Technology trends
    • 7.4 Africa/Middle East
      • 7.4.1 Africa
      • 7.4.2 Middle East
    • 7.5 Asia
      • 7.5.1 Market overview
      • 7.5.2 Regional characteristics
      • 7.5.3 China and India
      • 7.5.4 Growth drivers
      • 7.5.5 Mobile data services
      • 7.5.6 Third Generation (3G)
    • 7.6 Pacific Region
      • 7.6.1 Australia
      • 7.6.2 New Zealand
      • 7.6.3 South Pacific
      • 7.6.4 Mobile market overview
  • 8. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Worldwide mobile subscribers and annual change – 1993 - 2008
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers by region – 1993 - 2007
  • Table 3 – Top 20 countries ranked by mobile penetration – 2004 - 2005; 2007
  • Table 4 – Worldwide mobile subscribers by technology – 2007; 2011
  • Table 5 – Worldwide mobile subscribers by technology – Q1 2007
  • Table 6 – Worldwide mobile phone penetration – 2008; 2011
  • Table 7 – Regional mobile subscribers’ CAGR – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 8 – Average time spent on mobile phones in the UK versus fixed – 2001; 2005
  • Table 9 – Average total daily use of fixed telephone in the UK versus mobile – 2006
  • Table 10 – Comparison charges for services basket in Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, France and Great Britain – March 2007
  • Table 11 – Western Europe ARPU: monthly voice, non-voice & total mobile – 2006; 2012
  • Table 12 – Top 10 North American operators by ARPU – Q3 2007
  • Table 13 – Mobile ARPU for top 3 US companies – Q2 2006
  • Table 14 – Approximate monthly mobile ARPU of top 5 carriers and bottom 5 carriers worldwide – Q3 2006
  • Table 15 – Monthly mobile ARPU of selected US operators – Q1 2006
  • Table 16 – Top 10 operators worldwide with biggest decreases in annual mobile ARPU – Q1 2006
  • Table 17 – Worldwide mobile revenue and CAPEX – 2012
  • Table 18 – Prepaid market share in selected developing markets – 2008
  • Table 19 – Number of prepaid subscribers worldwide – 2006 - 2007
  • Table 20 – Top 10 operators by prepaid growth – Q3 2007
  • Table 21 – Top 10 operators by prepaid growth – Q3 2006
  • Table 22 – Prepaid penetration by region– 2006
  • Table 23 – Prepaid revenue estimates by region – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 24 – Virgin Mobile and Telmore MVNO subscribers – 2006
  • Table 25 – MVNO subscribers worldwide – 2005 - 2006; 2012
  • Table 26 – MVNO revenue worldwide – 2006; 2012
  • Table 27 – Mobile market share versus fixed – 1992 - 2003; 2006 - 2007
  • Table 28 – Worldwide subscribers – CDMA technologies – 2001 - 2007
  • Table 29 –CDMA subscribers versus other technologies – Q1 2007
  • Table 30 – Growth of GSM market – 1994; 1997; 1999 - 2001; 2003 - 2007
  • Table 31 – GSM technology subscribers by region – 2006 - 2007
  • Table 32 – Market share of 3G technologies – 2012
  • Table 33 – 3G worldwide subscribers by technology – 2006 - 2007
  • Table 34 – 3G subscriber forecasts (all technologies) – 2007; 2010
  • Table 35 – Growth of worldwide 3G subscribers – 2001 - 2007
  • Table 36 – Regional share of WCDMA subscribers – 2006
  • Table 37 – 3G spectrum licence cost per capita – 2000 - 2001
  • Table 38 – 3G infrastructure CAPEX – 2001 - 2006
  • Table 39 – Examples of Hutchison subscribers in 3G markets – 2005 - 2006
  • Table 40 – UWB-enabled devices in use – 2007; 2011
  • Table 41 – Installed base of Bluetooth devices worldwide – 2005; 2007; 2012
  • Table 42 – Wholesale revenues for MSS operators with satellites in orbit – 2005 - 2007
  • Table 43 – Mobile market share versus fixed – 1992 - 2003; 2006 - 2007
  • Table 44 – Historical Mobile Termination Rates (MTR) by Region – 2005
  • Table 45 – EU average mobile termination charges – 2004 - 2006
  • Table 46 – Average call charges abroad by region – 2007
  • Table 47 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2009
  • Table 48 – Worldwide roaming revenue – 2006; 2011
  • Table 49 – Percentage of mobile numbers ported in selected countries – 2006
  • Table 50 – Overview of wireless subscribers in the USA – January 2008
  • Table 51 – Wireless subscribers in Canada – 1997 - 2007
  • Table 52 – Mobile subscribers and penetration in Latin America - 1998 - 2007
  • Table 53 – Mobile subscribers and penetration in Latin American countries – September 2007
  • Table 54 – Subscriber distribution in selected Latin American countries - 2005 - 2007
  • Table 55 – Forecast mobile subscriber penetration – weaker growth scenario in selected Latin American countries – 2007; 2012; 2017
  • Table 56 – Forecast mobile subscriber penetration – stronger growth scenario in selected Latin American countries – 2007; 2012; 2017
  • Table 57 – Market share of mobile technologies in Latin America - 2006 - 2007
  • Table 58 – Annualised European voice and data market growth – 2007
  • Table 59 – Voice market Europe – 2000; 2005; 2010
  • Table 60 – GSM price basket, selected European countries – 2006 - 2007
  • Table 61 – Voice and total mobile ARPU in Western Europe – 2006; 2012
  • Table 62 – Western Europe 3G subscribers – 2005 - 2008; 2010
  • Table 63 – Western Europe GSM subscribers – 1997 - 2008
  • Table 64 – Top 20 European nations by subscribers – Sept 2007
  • Table 65 – European mobile subscribers and penetration – 1997 - 2008
  • Table 66 – Top 10 European nations by penetration – 2005 - 2007
  • Table 67 – Fastest mobile growth by nation and annual change – 2004 - 2005; 2007
  • Table 68 – African mobile subscribers, growth, penetration and market base – 1998 - 2007
  • Table 69 – Top 10 African countries by annual growth in mobile subscribers – June 2007
  • Table 70 – Top 10 African countries by subscribers and penetration – June 2007
  • Table 71 – Mobile subscribers in Asia – 1990; 1995; 2000 - 2008
  • Table 72 – Mobile penetration in Asia – top 10 markets – 2007
  • Table 73 – Mobile growth rates in Asia – top 10 markets – 2007
  • Table 74 – Wireless Internet subscribers in Asia – 2007
  • Table 75 – 3G WCDMA subscriber growth in Asia – 2004 - 2007
  • Table 76 – Mobile subscribers by carrier in Australia – 1993 - 20081
  • Table 77 – Annual growth rate of mobile subscribers by carrier in Australia – 1993 - 20081
  • Table 78 - Mobile subscribers by 3G network operator in Australia - 2003 - 2008
  • Table 79 – Mobile services market revenue per major operator in Australia – 1993 - 20081
  • Table 80 – Blended ARPU per month by operator in Australia – 2003 - 2007
  • Table 81 – Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration in New Zealand – 1995 - 2009
  • Table 82 – Mobile subscribers per operator in New Zealand – 2001 - 2009
  • Table 83 – Mobile subscribers and penetration in selected South Pacific countries – July 2007
  • Exhibit 1 – Key applications from data pack users
  • Exhibit 2 – Growth drivers for prepaid mobiles in emerging markets
  • Exhibit 3 – Comparative characteristics of an MVNO
  • Exhibit 4 – Variables that affect MVNO development
  • Exhibit 5 – FMC services
  • Exhibit 6 – Growth inhibitors for FMC
  • Exhibit 7 – UMA examples from the telecoms industry – 2004 - 2007
  • Exhibit 8 –- Comparison of GSM, cdmaOne and TDMA market share
  • Exhibit 9 – TD-SCDMA technology
  • Exhibit 10 – Operators offering WorldMode – early 2008
  • Exhibit 11 – Description of R-UIM
  • Exhibit 12 – Frequency bands for GSM
  • Exhibit 13 – Phases of CAMEL standardisation
  • Exhibit 14 – Hutchison Whampoa international operations – 2006
  • Exhibit 15 – Top 3 Bluetoot applications – 2006
  • Exhibit 16 – Key considerations of number portability
  • Exhibit 17 – Countries with mobile numbering plans – January 2007
  • Exhibit 18 – What is spectrum?
  • Exhibit 19 – Frequency bands and symbols
  • Exhibit 20 – International frequency assignment plan – 2110 - 2450MHz bands (excerpts)
  • Exhibit 21 – Possible bands for future spectrum auctions
  • Exhibit 22 – African countries with more than one mobile network operator – 2007

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Technologies

Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages 212

Status Archived

Last updated 20 Feb 2008
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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