2010 Global Mobile Communications - Key Trends and Growth in a Challenging Environment

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the worldwide development of the dynamic mobile sector. Information at a regional level is also provided for the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. The report includes analyses, statistics, forecasts and trends. It provides a comprehensive perspective of the overall global and regional mobile industry and explores key issues and opportunities.

Subjects covered include:

  • Analyses of key issues and opportunities;
  • Worldwide and regional mobile subscriber statistics;
  • Mobile Revenue, ARPU and Call Charge Statistics;
  • Mobile Termination, Roaming, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Trends;
  • Mobile prepaid sector and statistics;
  • 3G market overview and statistics;
  • Mobile handset market overview and statistics;
  • MVNO market and statistics;
  • Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) and Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS);
  • Regional overview for Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Researchers:- Paul Budde, Lawrence Baker, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Lisa Hulme-Jones, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Tine Lewis, Stephen McNamara, Kylie Wansink

Current publication date:- March 2010 (9th Edition)

Next publication date:- March 2011

Executive Summary

When reflecting upon the last decade; the rapid uptake of mobile technology must be highlighted as an outstanding phenomenon that has forever changed society. Despite the challenges of the current industry environment; mobile subscriber growth continues with the emerging markets leading the way. While the industry is coping with a number of key issues, including the economic downturn, saturation of developed markets and spectrum concerns - it is still expected that in 2011 there will be over 5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide.

Around the world the mobile industry is screaming out for more spectrum; the first countries are moving forward but others are still working on their spectrum plans. The industry, quite rightly, is asking their governments for clarification regarding their spectrum policies. There is good evidence that more spectrum is required if we want to make the most of all the new opportunities that mobile and wireless broadband technology have to offer our society and our economy.

In early 2010, 3G subscribers accounted for around 13% of all mobile subscribers worldwide and it is full steam ahead for one of the largest emerging markets – China, which is benefitting from huge investments in 3G network deployment. India also continues to work on 3G licensing arrangements despite the regulatory battles that have hindered development. The business case for 3G is building around the world and most 3G deployments now rollout smoothly in contrast to the many problems experienced in early years.

While the number of mobile subscribers continues to grow worldwide; the industry is still grappling with declining ARPU. The economic downturn is not the only factor driving down ARPU; the increasingly competitive market involving price wars and new service developments and the tendency for mobile subscriber growth to mainly come from the low-income emerging markets are all playing a part.

International roaming charges and mobile termination rates have dropped due to both competition and the introduction of regulations/price capping. As mobile operators search for new revenue streams, attention is turning to increasing mobile customers’ usage of international roaming services, including mobile data roaming services.

Overall handset sales and mobile handset revenue were also in decline in early 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis. However by the end of Q3 2009 this decline in handset sales appeared to have stabilised and by Q4 2009 the industry actually recorded positive growth again. There is also evidence that sales of smart phones are growing despite handset sales overall being down. While Nokia has been losing market share in recent times; it still retains its dominant position as the leading handset manufacturer, followed by Samsung. Despite only being in the handset market for a couple of years, Apple’s iPhone has also become popular and this was reflected in Apple’s Q3 2009 operating profit.

To date, MVNOs have only had a significant presence in the developed markets of North America and Western Europe, which account for the majority of subscribers. However in the next couple of years, MVNOs are expected to continue emerging in the developing markets of Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia Pacific. The MVNO market has also witnessed a shift away from traditional business models as operators and new market entrants’ trial models based on niche markets including data services, music services, health services, luxury services and low price services (including the prepaid market).

The prepaid market has traditionally attracted consumers on lower or restricted budgets and there are a number of prepaid MVNOs successfully operating in this market. Prepaid plans have been heavily marketed as a way to save money in the economic downturn – and it appears to be working as consumers turn to its services as a way to cut costs. This is fuelling competition, resulting in an emerging new image for this sector as the differences between prepaid and postpaid service offerings fade. From a broader perspective, the prepaid model is still a huge success worldwide, particularly in the developing markets.

The much anticipated Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is developing slower than many operators would have hoped. However enthusiasm for the potential of this technology remains and more and more we are seeing Unified Communications merge with FMC developments. Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS) also continues to take place around the world as mobile operators seek to ensure this phenomenon continues.

This report provides valuable insights and analysis into the trends and developments taking place in the dynamic mobile communications sector. The report comprises global and regional statistics and information on mobile growth, including 3G and the prepaid market. Other key topics covered include global mobile handset development and growth, the progress of FMC and FMS and the global MVNO market. Valuable trends, supported by statistics, are provided for ARPU, mobile revenue, call charges, and Minutes of Use (MoU), as well as information on mobile termination, roaming and Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Information at a regional level is also provided for North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Please note: Mobile broadband is covered in detail in a separate annual publication.

Market highlights:

  • The resilient mobile industry is still growing despite the challenges and overall global mobile revenues are predicted to reach over $1 trillion around 2012.
  • MVNO subscribers will account for around 2-3% of all mobile subscribers worldwide in 2010.
  • Around the world there is a varying degree of how many minutes on average a mobile user spends per month – with Hong Kong and India having some of the highest usage in the world.
  • Handset sales rebounded in Q4 2009, recording a positive growth of at least 10%..
  • In 2010 there will be an estimated 3.5 billion prepaid subscribers worldwide with the majority of prepaid users residing in Asia Pacific.

Number of prepaid subscribers worldwide – 2008; 2010; 2012

Year

Approximate no. of prepaid subscribers (billion)

2008

2.6

2010 (e)

3.5

2012 (e)

4.3

(Source: BuddeComm, 2010) 

  • China is the world’s largest mobile communications market.
  • The Middle East contains some of the highest penetration rates in the world led by the UAE, which has passed the 200% mark. Growth rates remain astonishingly high in the light of these figures.
  • Mobile market penetration in Africa is expected to pass 50% during 2010; at least seven countries have broken the 100% barrier.
  • The wireless industry in North America continues to be one of the fastest growing markets in telecommunications, despite the economic downturn.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Global Mobile Market: Key Statistics, Growth and Trends
    • 1.1 Global mobile market 2010 - introduction
      • 1.1.1 Mobile market 2010
    • 1.2 Global and regional mobile subscriber statistics
      • 1.2.1 Global mobile subscriber statistics
    • 1.3 Mobile revenue, ARPU and call charge statistics
      • 1.3.1 Mobile usage and call charges overview
      • 1.3.2 Overview of global ARPU developments
      • 1.3.3 Overview of historical global ARPU developments
      • 1.3.4 Mobile revenue growth and CAPEX forecast
    • 1.4 Global termination rate, roaming, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) trends
      • 1.4.1 Introduction: mobile competition
      • 1.4.2 Mobile Termination Rates
      • 1.4.3 Roaming
      • 1.4.4 Number Portability (NP)
      • 1.4.5 Conclusion
    • 1.5 Global prepaid market overview and trends
      • 1.5.1 Prepaid mobile services
      • 1.5.2 Key prepaid trends and developments
      • 1.5.3 Worldwide prepaid subscribers
  • 2. Global 3G Market
    • 2.1 Global 3G market overview and trends
      • 2.1.1 3G rolling out more rapidly
      • 2.1.2 Brief case study: Hutchison
      • 2.1.3 3G statistics and forecasts
      • 2.1.4 Spotlight on Asia
      • 2.1.5 Other developments
      • 2.1.6 3G auctions – a popular way to assign spectrum
      • 2.1.7 Hard realities of the mobile market
  • 3. Global Mobile Handset Market
    • 3.1 Global mobile handset market overview and trends
      • 3.1.1 Historical handset market growth
      • 3.1.2 Mobile handset statistics and forecasts
      • 3.1.3 Smartphones
      • 3.1.4 Handset supplier market shares
      • 3.1.5 Other trends and developments
      • 3.1.6 Safety and security issues
  • 4. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
    • 4.1 Global MVNO market overview and trends
      • 4.1.1 MVNO market overview
      • 4.1.2 Key MVNO markets
      • 4.1.3 MVNO analysis
      • 4.1.4 Market definitions
  • 5. Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) And FMS
    • 5.1 Global FMC and FMS market overview and trends
      • 5.1.1 Introduction to Fixed Mobile Convergence
      • 5.1.2 FMC market overview
      • 5.1.3 Unified Communications
      • 5.1.4 Fixed Mobile Substitution (FMS)
      • 5.1.5 Conclusion: Impact of FMC and FMS on the market
  • 6. Regional Overviews
    • 6.1 North America
      • 6.1.1 Wireless market overview
      • 6.1.2 Wireless statistics
    • 6.2 Latin America
      • 6.2.1 Overview of Latin America’s mobile market
      • 6.2.2 Mobile statistics
    • 6.3 Europe
      • 6.3.1 European overview
      • 6.3.2 Mobile subscribers and penetration
      • 6.3.3 Revenue
      • 6.3.4 ARPU
      • 6.3.5 MNP
      • 6.3.6 Prepaid market
      • 6.3.7 3G market overview
      • 6.3.8 MVNOs
      • 6.3.9 Mobile handsets
    • 6.4 Africa
      • 6.4.1 Market overview
      • 6.4.2 Mobile Statistics
      • 6.4.3 Pan-African mobile operators
      • 6.4.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
      • 6.4.5 Mobile number portability (MNP)
      • 6.4.6 Fixed-mobile convergence
      • 6.4.7 Mobile handsets
      • 6.4.8 Community phones
      • 6.4.9 Prepaid cards
      • 6.4.10 Call tariffs
      • 6.4.11 Average Revenue per User (ARPU)
      • 6.4.12 Mobile data services
      • 6.4.13 3G
      • 6.4.14 Market forecasts
    • 6.5 Middle East
      • 6.5.1 Overview
      • 6.5.2 Mobile statistics
      • 6.5.3 Market trends
    • 6.6 Asia
      • 6.6.1 Market overview
      • 6.6.2 Regional statistics
      • 6.6.3 Regional characteristics
      • 6.6.4 China and India
      • 6.6.5 Growth drivers
      • 6.6.6 Third Generation (3G) services and beyond
    • 6.7 Pacific Region
      • 6.7.1 Australia
      • 6.7.2 New Zealand
  • 7. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Worldwide mobile subscribers and annual change – 2000 - 2010
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers by region – 1993 - 2009
  • Table 3 – China – mobile subscribers and annual change – 1995 - 2009
  • Table 4 – Worldwide 3G subscribers – 2004 - 2010
  • Table 5 – Indicative monthly mobile minutes of use – selected countries – 2008 - 2009
  • Table 6 – Comparison of charges for mobile services baskets – OECD countries – August 2008
  • Table 7 – Comparison of cheapest charges for services basket – Finland; Sweden; Netherlands; Estonia; Norway; Denmark – April 2008
  • Table 8 – Comparison of cheapest charges for services basket – Finland; Luxembourg; Sweden; Denmark; France; Great Britain – March 2007
  • Table 9 – Rate per voice minute – selected developed countries – April 2008
  • Table 10 – Comparison of most expensive charges for services basket – Switzerland; France; Ireland – April 2008
  • Table 11 – Monthly mobile broadband contract costs – Eastern Europe; Asia Pacific; Africa; Americas – 2007
  • Table 12 – Worldwide average mobile monthly ARPU – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 13 – Indicative comparison of selected countries by monthly mobile ARPU – 2009 - 2010
  • Table 14 – India – mobile ARPU (GSM and CDMA) and annual change – 2005 - 2008
  • Table 15 – Mobinil blended monthly ARPU and AUPU – 2002 - 2008
  • Table 16 – Blended mobile ARPU – selected carriers – 2008 - 2009
  • Table 17 – Mobile data as a % of mobile revenues – leading developed countries – 2008
  • Table 18 – Mobile data mobile ARPU – selected carriers – 2008 - 2009
  • Table 19 – Worldwide mobile CAPEX – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 20 – Worldwide mobile services revenue – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 21 – Historical mobile termination rates by region – 2005
  • Table 22 –Mobile termination rates in select countries – 2009
  • Table 23 – EU average mobile termination charges – 2004 - 2008
  • Table 24 – Worldwide mobile roaming revenue – 2000; 2008; 2012
  • Table 25 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 26 – Top ten European countries SMS roaming charges – 2007
  • Table 27 – Top ten European countries roaming charges per MB – Q3 2007
  • Table 28 – Brazil – prepaid subscribers and prepaid market share – 2002 - 2009
  • Table 29 – India: mobile subscriber monthly ARPU – prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2008
  • Table 30 – Number of prepaid subscribers worldwide – 2008; 2010; 2012
  • Table 31 – Global prepaid subscribers as a percentage of total subscribers – 2006; 2008; 2010
  • Table 32 – Prepaid subscribers as a percentage of total subscribers in select countries – 2008
  • Table 33 – Prepaid service revenue worldwide – 2005 - 2007
  • Table 34 – 3G subscribers worldwide – Hutchison Whampoa – 2007 - 2009
  • Table 35 – Growth of worldwide 3G subscribers – 2004; 2006 - 2009; Q1 2010
  • Table 36 – Worldwide market share of mobile subscribers by technology – Q1 2009
  • Table 37 – Historical 3G spectrum licence cost per capita in select countries – 2000 - 2001
  • Table 38 – Worldwide mobile handset sales by quarter – 2009 - 2010
  • Table 39 – Worldwide mobile handset sales – 2004 - 2009
  • Table 40 – Mobile handset revenue worldwide – 2002 - 2005; 2008 - 2009; 2012
  • Table 41 – Worldwide smartphone device manufacturers by market share – Q3 2009
  • Table 42 – Apple versus Nokia – handset division operating profit – 2008 - 2009
  • Table 43 – Worldwide smartphone operating systems by market share – 2007 - 2008
  • Table 44 – Handset supplier worldwide market share – top five suppliers – 2008 - 2009
  • Table 45 – Handset supplier worldwide market shares – 1999 - 2008
  • Table 46 – Worldwide MVNO subscribers – 2005; 2009; 2010; 2013
  • Table 47 – Worldwide MVNO services revenue – 2001 - 2006; 2009; 2012
  • Table 48 – Worldwide FMC subscribers – 2006; 2008; 2010; 2013
  • Table 49 – Indicative monthly mobile minutes of use – selected countries – 2008; 2009
  • Table 50 – Worldwide mobile phone penetration – 2008 - 2009; 2011
  • Table 51 – Year of fixed-line access peak in selected countries
  • Table 52 – Wireless subscribers, penetration and annual change in North America – 2010 - 2011
  • Table 53 – Latin America – mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1998 - 2010
  • Table 54 – European voice market in minutes – 2000; 2005; 2010
  • Table 55 – Annualised European voice and data market annual growth – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 56 –EU mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2004 - 2010
  • Table 57 – Mobile (SIM) penetration by country in Europe – 2008 - 2010
  • Table 58 – European mobile operator revenue by source – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 59 – Average ARPU (€) by country in select European countries – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 60 – Voice ARPU, non-voice ARPU, total mobile ARPU – Western Europe – 2006; 2012
  • Table 61 – Mobile numbers ported as % of total in select European countries – 2008
  • Table 62 – Cumulative total mobile numbers ported as % of total in select European countries – 2006 - 2008
  • Table 63 – Mobile numbers ported in select European countries – 2006 - 2008
  • Table 64 – Prepaid proportion of all subscribers in select European countries – 2009
  • Table 65 – Forecast Western Europe 3G subscribers – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 66 – Number of network operators, resellers and MVNOs in Europe - 2000 - 2010
  • Table 67 – Camera phone sales and forecasts in Europe - 2005 - 2006; 2010
  • Table 68 – European market shares of handset makers – 2003 - 2008
  • Table 69 – African mobile subscriber growth and penetration rates – 1998 - 2010
  • Table 70 – Top 10 African countries by subscribers – June 2009
  • Table 71 – Top 10 African countries by annual growth – June 2009
  • Table 72 – Mobile ARPU in selected African markets, MTN versus Zain – Q3 2009
  • Table 73 – WCDMA subscribers in Africa by country – March 2009
  • Table 74 – Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration in the Middle East – June 2009
  • Table 75 – Mobile subscribers in Asia – 1990; 1995; 2000 - 2011
  • Table 76 – Asia – mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration rate by country – June 2009
  • Table 77 – Asia – mobile subscribers by country – 2009 - 2010
  • Table 78 – 3G WCDMA subscriber growth in Asia – 2004 - 2009
  • Table 79 – Mobile subscribers by carrier in Australia – 2006 - 2010
  • Table 80 – 3G mobile broadband subscribers by mobile operator in Australia – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 81 – Mobile services market revenue per major operator in Australia – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 82 – Mobile subscribers per operator in New Zealand – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 83 – Price comparison of prepaid services by operator in New Zealand – March 2010
  • Exhibit 1 – Digital Dividend
  • Exhibit 2 – Historical monthly mobile ARPU of top/bottom five carriers worldwide – Q3 2006
  • Exhibit 3 – Roaming Regulation amendments in the EU – July 2009 - 2013
  • Exhibit 4 – Number portability: key considerations
  • Exhibit 5 – Examples of countries with mobile numbering plans
  • Exhibit 6 – Growth drivers for prepaid mobiles in emerging markets
  • Exhibit 7 – Examples of operators reporting high prepaid growth – 2007 - 2009
  • Exhibit 8 – Asia region 2.75G and 3G mobile service roll-outs – 2008
  • Exhibit 9 – Radio frequency spectrum
  • Exhibit 10 – Examples of key MVNO customer segments
  • Exhibit 11 – USA – major developments in the MVNO market – 2007 - 2008
  • Exhibit 12 – Variables that affect MVNO development
  • Exhibit 13 – Comparative characteristics of an MVNO
  • Exhibit 14 – FMC services
  • Exhibit 15 – Growth inhibitors for FMC
  • Exhibit 16 – Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)
  • Exhibit 17 – Leading dual-mode mobile device manufacturers
  • Exhibit 18 – Industry factors and drivers for suppliers to introduce FMC & FMS services
  • Exhibit 19 – Implications for industry from FMC & FMS services
  • Exhibit 20 – Selected MVNOs and resellers in Europe – 2010
  • Exhibit 21 – Major mobile operators in the Middle East

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Annual Publication Profile

Technologies

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

Number of pages 165

Status Archived

Last updated 30 Mar 2010
Update History

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

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