2012 Global Mobile Communications - A Keystone for Industry Growth

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the global mobile sector and is a valuable resource of insights, examples and trends. It provides information on the key trends and statistics, supported by analysis and cases studies. It also includes unique insights into regional developments, written by BuudeComm’s Senior Analysts. 

Subjects covered include:

  • Key global mobile industry trends;
  • Key global mobile industry statistics;
  • Global mobile smartphone, handset and touchscreen statistics and trends;
  • Insights into mobile spectrum issues;
  • Insights in customer service issues;
  • Regional overviews for North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
  • Case study on the emerging market of Brazil.

Researchers:- Kylie Wansink, Paul Budde, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Stephen McNamara
Current publication date:- March 2012 (11th Edition)

Executive Summary

Mobile industry continues upward growth despite market conditions

Considering the enormous pressure the economic downturn has placed upon industry growth in general around the world – the mobile sector could well be the envy of other sectors when taking stock of the overall picture. Subscriber growth is still on the rise with the developing markets offering further opportunities for growth; there is a growing demand for higher bandwidth multimedia services offered by smart phones and around the world there are continuing technology developments via the deployment 3G and 4G services.

Wireless services can be considered a keystone for telecoms industry growth and industry players around the world are competing heavily for a lead position in these developments. Some of the leading carriers in terms of revenue include AT&T, NTT, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, China Mobile, Vodafone, France Telecom, America Movil and KDDI. America Movil recently reported strong revenue growth due partly to its operations in Mexico and Brazil.

Unlike the fixed market, the mobile market is, in general, competitive – with some good products and prices arriving in the market. This, in turn, has driven demand for mobile broadband. However it is important to realise that this growth has as much to do with affordability as it has to do with the technical innovations in and around smartphones.

Despite the positive future ahead for the mobile sector – it must also be acknowledged that many carriers are currently facing financial woes, with stagnating revenues, declining ARPUs and increasing competition from other types of players like Apple. The traditional mobile communications business models are rapidly becoming out-of-date and unless the mobile operators change their models, others, such as the new competitors or the regulators, will start doing it for them. Most mobile operators were taken by surprise by the effect of the smartphone. They have lost leadership in the mobile market and will now at least have to share their powerful position with others, such as Apple and Google (Android).

Another looming issue around the world is the allocating of mobile spectrum. The fact that businesses are knocking on the doors of their governments asking for spectrum is a clear indication that this “telco real estate” market is hotting up. The reason for this is not too hard to guess – the enormous growth in the demand for mobile broadband. There is a large amount of pent-up demand because initially the mobile operators didn’t want to open up this market while they were in the middle of adding new customers to their mobile voice services. Governments are also beginning to see spectrum auctions as a way to generate funds in fragile economic times.

BuddeComm’s new report, Global Mobile Communications – A Keystone for Industry Growth, provides important insights into the worldwide mobile communications industry and includes trends, analyses, statistics and case studies. The report provides a valuable overview of the global mobile communications industry including key statistics such as global and regional subscriptions; mobile services revenue; ARPU; CAPEX and churn. This report includes a global overview of handset, smartphone and touchscreen tablet trends and statistics. It provides insights into why it is time the telcos focused back on the customer and how spectrum allocation is a key issue for the future. Information at a regional level is provided for North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, written by BuddeComm’s Senior Analysts. A detailed case study on the emerging market of Brazil is also included. Please note: Mobile broadband is covered in detail in a separate annual publication. 

Examples of key insights:

  • Smart phone sales now account for over a quarter of all handset sales. This has risen sharply in just two years and is forecast to grow further.
  • Voice services are still an important component of revenue generation, accounting for around 75% of revenues in developing markets and 70% in developed markets.
  • The next phase of mobile technology and services rests upon the development of wireless broadband and in particular the 4G technology, Long-term evolution (LTE). In the interim however, mobile users continue to utilise the 2G, 3G and 3.5G (HSPA) services on offer, with around 1.8 billion 3G subscribers expected worldwide by the end 2012.
  • In Africa, the greatest demand for mobile devices is in the major cities; however cellular solutions are also being employed to increase accessibility in rural and other disadvantaged areas.
  • Although mobile communications have been driving Europe’s general telecom sector in recent years, accounting for over half of the sector's overall revenue, it is facing a number of issues which will have considerable implications for revenue, business models and investment opportunities.
  • In Asia, overall regional penetration had reached an estimated 83% going into 2012, suggesting there was still more room for subscriber growth across the region.
  • Around half the mobile subscribers in the world are to be found in Asia.
  • 2degrees, the newest mobile network operator in the New Zealand market, has grown on average by 1,000 subscribers a day since launching in 2009.
  • In early 2012, Telstra was still the largest provider of mobile services in Australia, commanding a total market share of roughly 44%.
  • The wireless market in Canada and the USA has experienced rapid growth since the 1980s, driven by advances in cellular technology, the deregulation of the telecom industry and significant switching among consumers from wireline to wireless services.
  • In the Middle East, competition continues to drive subscriber growth due to high prepaid levels, emerging MVNOs, demographic trends and mobile broadband.

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 - Trends and Statistics
    • 1.1 Key Mobile Communication Statistics and Insights
      • 1.1.1 Fundamental changes to the industry
      • 1.1.2 The spectrum crunch
      • 1.1.3 Mobile infrastructure becomes a fibre feed-in
      • 1.1.4 80% of mobile broadband is consumed via WiFi
      • 1.1.5 Industry consolidation is a must
      • 1.1.6 Mobile – the major battleground
      • 1.1.7 Top global mobile carriers
      • 1.1.8 Global mobile CAPEX and services revenue
      • 1.1.9 Global mobile ARPU
      • 1.1.10 Global mobile churn
      • 1.1.11 Global mobile termination
      • 1.1.12 Global mobile roaming
      • 1.1.13 Prepaid mobile
    • 1.2 Spotlight on selected developing markets
    • 1.3 Mobile market insights
      • 1.3.1 Mobile consolidation - a threat to competition
      • 1.3.2 Number Portability
      • 1.3.3 The declining SMS market
      • 1.3.4 Near-Field Communication
      • 1.3.5 Fem-to-cell
      • 1.3.6 Spectrum issue – more to it than meets the eye
      • 1.3.7 Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC)
    • 1.4 Conclusion: mobile phones are a powerful tool
  • 2. Global Mobile Smartphone, Touchscreen Tablets and Handset Market
    • 2.1 Key Mobile Smartphone, Tablet and Handset Statistics and Insights
      • 2.1.1 Historical handset market growth
      • 2.1.2 Global mobile handset statistics and forecasts
      • 2.1.3 Smartphones leaders
      • 2.1.4 Touchscreen tablets
      • 2.1.5 Other trends and developments
      • 2.1.6 Safety and security issues
  • 3. Global Mobile Spectrum Insights
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Mobile broadband pushes up demand for spectrum
    • 3.3 Spectrum issue – more to it than meets the eye
    • 3.4 Public safety spectrum debate is hotting up
      • 3.4.1 Sharing and harmonising mobile use
      • 3.4.2 FCC supports commercial and public safety sharing
      • 3.4.3 Commercial vs. public safety infrastructure
      • 3.4.4 ACMA limits itself to public sharing
      • 3.4.5 Other issues
      • 3.4.6 The battle for digital dividend
    • 3.5 Recent developments
      • 3.5.1 Hungary’s spectrum auction to alleviate government’s debt burden
      • 3.5.2 Spain’s spectrum auction: raising revenue for the new government and hopes for MNOs
      • 3.5.3 Italy’s spectrum auction anticipating LTE growth in 2012
      • 3.5.4 Sweden’s 1800MHz auction facilitates LTE deployment
  • 4. Global Mobile - Focus on the Customer
    • 4.1 Introduction: global telecoms market
    • 4.2 Insights into global mobile churn
      • 4.2.1 Examples of European carriers churn
    • 4.3 Customer experience key to the future of the retail market
      • 4.3.1 Lack of good customer expectation in telecoms market
      • 4.3.2 Global mobile termination
      • 4.3.3 Global mobile roaming
    • 4.4 The retail market needs to lift its game
      • 4.4.1 Under-investment in customer experience
      • 4.4.2 Very little service differentiation between players
      • 4.4.3 New sectors are entering the retail market
      • 4.4.4 New approach needed, not a fix of broken systems
      • 4.4.5 Cost transparency: the single most important issue in the telco market
      • 4.4.6 Solution: high quality data and analytics
  • 5. Regional Overviews
    • 5.1 North America
      • 5.1.1 Trends and statistics
      • 5.1.2 Spectrum developments
    • 5.2 Latin America – Brazil Case Study
      • 5.2.1 Trends and statistics
      • 5.2.2 Regulatory issues
      • 5.2.3 Mobile technologies
      • 5.2.4 Mobile voice services
      • 5.2.5 Mobile messaging
    • 5.3 Europe
      • 5.3.1 Trends and statistics
    • 5.4 Africa
      • 5.4.1 Market overview
      • 5.4.2 Mobile Statistics
      • 5.4.3 Pan-African mobile operators
      • 5.4.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
      • 5.4.5 Mobile number portability (MNP)
      • 5.4.6 Fixed-mobile convergence
      • 5.4.7 Mobile handsets, smartphones
      • 5.4.8 Community phones
      • 5.4.9 Prepaid cards
      • 5.4.10 Call tariffs
      • 5.4.11 Average Revenue per User (ARPU)
      • 5.4.12 Mobile data services
      • 5.4.13 3G and 4G (LTE)
      • 5.4.14 A major factor in Africa, however, is the price of handsets. The prepaid mass market will only adopt 3G services on a broad scale once handset prices have reached levels close to 2G handsets (see chapter  REF _Ref223190896 \r \h Mobile handsets, smartphones
      • 5.4.15 Community phones
      • 5.4.16 Mobile money transfer, m-banking
      • 5.4.17 Market forecasts
    • 5.5 Middle East
      • 5.5.1 Overview
      • 5.5.2 Mobile statistics
      • 5.5.3 Market trends
    • 5.6 Asia
      • 5.6.1 Market overview
      • 5.6.2 Wireless broadband in Asia
    • 5.7 Pacific Region
      • 5.7.1 Australia
      • 5.7.2 New Zealand
  • 6. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Worldwide mobile statistics at a glance – 2012
  • Table 2 – Worldwide mobile subscriptions and annual change – 2000 - 2012
  • Table 3 – Mobile subscribers by region – 1993 - 2011
  • Table 4 – Worldwide 3G subscribers – 2004 - 2012
  • Table 5 – Top ten carriers worldwide by revenue – 2010; 2011
  • Table 6 – Top 3 telecom operators worldwide by revenue growth – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 7 – China - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change – March 2011
  • Table 8 – India - GSM mobile operators, subscribers and market share – 2010
  • Table 9 – USA - Mobile major operator subscriber market share – 2008 - 2011
  • Table 10 – Worldwide MVNO subscribers –2010; 2013; 2015
  • Table 11 – Worldwide mobile CAPEX – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 12 – Worldwide mobile services revenue – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 13 – Worldwide average mobile monthly ARPU – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 14 – India - mobile ARPU by technology, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2010
  • Table 15 – India - mobile ARPU (GSM and CDMA) – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 16 – Vodafone customer churn by key market (Europe) – 2004 - 2011
  • Table 17 – TeliaSonera annualised customer churn by key market (Europe) – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 18 – Telekom Deutschland annualised monthly customer churn by key market – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 19 – France Telecom customer churn by key market (Europe) – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 20 –Mobile termination rates by region – 2005; 2010
  • Table 21 – Worldwide mobile roaming revenue – 2000; 2008; 2012
  • Table 22 – Number of prepaid subscriptions worldwide – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 23 – Prepaid service revenue worldwide – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 24 – Brazil - mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2002 - 2011
  • Table 25 – India - prepaid mobile subscribers: share of total market – 2003 - 2010
  • Table 26 – China - mobile subscribers and annual change – 1995 - 2012
  • Table 27 – Overview of India’s mobile market – 2009 - 2010
  • Table 28 – India - mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 29 – India - mobile subscribers (GSM and CDMA) – 2002 - 2010
  • Table 30 – India - mobile penetration urban and rural – 2007; 2009 - 2010
  • Table 31 – India - mobile services revenue – 1996 - 2012
  • Table 32 – Worldwide overall mobile handset sales – 2004 - 2013
  • Table 33 – Worldwide overall mobile handset sales by quarter – 2009 – Q1 2012
  • Table 34 – Mobile handset revenue worldwide – 2009 - 2014
  • Table 35 – Mobile handset sales regional market share - 2011
  • Table 36 – Handset supplier worldwide market shares – 1999 - 2011
  • Table 37 – Worldwide smart phone mobile device sales by quarter – 2009 – Q1 2012
  • Table 38 – Worldwide smartphone operating systems by market share – 2007 – 2010; Q3 2011
  • Exhibit 15 – Examples of Touchscreen Tablets
  • Table 39 – Worldwide touchscreen tablet operating system market share – mid 2010; mid 2011
  • Table 40 – Worldwide touchscreen tablet sales – 2010; 2011; 2015
  • Table 41 – Worldwide telecom statistics at a glance – 2012
  • Table 42 – Vodafone customer churn by key market (Europe) – 2004 - 2011
  • Table 43 – TeliaSonera annualised customer churn by key market (Europe) – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 44 – Telekom Deutschland annualised monthly customer churn by key market – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 45 – France Telecom customer churn by key market (Europe) – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 46 – Worldwide average mobile monthly ARPU – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 47 – India - mobile ARPU by technology, prepaid/postpaid/blended – 2010
  • Table 48 – India - mobile ARPU (GSM and CDMA) – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 49 – Mobile termination rates by region – 2005; 2010
  • Table 50 – Worldwide mobile roaming revenue – 2000; 2008; 2012
  • Table 51 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2008 - 2011
  • Table 52 – Mobile market ARPU, revenues, usage statistics and annual change – 2008 - 2011
  • Table 53 – Mobile market revenue, roamer revenue, ARPU and employees – 2000 - 2011
  • Table 54 – Brazil - mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1997 - 2012
  • Table 55 – Evolution of mobile ARPU in Brazil – major operators – 2008 - 2011
  • Table 56 – Brazil - mobile market share by technology – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 57 – Brazil - 3G subscribers and penetration – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 58 – Brazil - mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 59 – Mobile voice revenue as proportion to total – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 60 – Annualised European voice and data market annual growth – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 61 – Mobile voice market Europe in minutes – 2000; 2005; 2010; 2012
  • Table 62 – Mobile and fixed voice traffic (% of total) – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 63 – Mobile and fixed voice traffic (volume) – 2005 - 2012
  • Table 64 – SIM penetration by country – 2008 - 2011
  • Table 65 – EU mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2004 - 2012
  • Table 66 – Forecast European 3G subscribers – 2005 - 2013
  • Table 67 – Average ARPU (€) by country in select European countries – 2006 –2011
  • Table 68 – Data as proportion of total mobile revenue –2008 - 2011
  • Table 69 – Market shares of handset makers (Europe) – 2006 - 2010
  • Table 70 – Market shares of platforms – 2010 - 2011
  • Table 71 – African mobile subscriber growth and penetration – 1998 - 2011
  • Table 72 – Top 10 African countries by subscribers – June 2011
  • Table 73 – Top 10 African countries by annual growth – June 2011
  • Table 74 – MTN mobile ARPU in selected African markets – 2011 (H1)
  • Table 75 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration in the Middle East – 2011
  • Table 76 – Japan’s mobile Internet subscribers, services and technology by provider – August 2011
  • Table 77 – Mobile subscriber overview by mobile network operator carrier in Australia – 2011
  • Table 78 – Mobile subscriber by major operator in New Zealand – 2010 - 2011
  • Table 79 – Price comparison of prepaid services by operator in New Zealand – 2012
  • Chart example – Worldwide 3G subscribers - 2004 - 2012
  • Chart 1 – Worldwide mobile subscribers 2000 - 2012
  • Chart 2 – Worldwide 3G subscribers - 2004 - 2012
  • Chart 3 – China mobile subscriber growth, population penetration – 2000 - 2012
  • Chart 4 – India - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2006 - 2012
  • Chart 5 – India - mobile subscribers by technology and mobile services revenue – 2002 - 2010
  • Chart 6 – Mobile subscribers and annual change – 2000 – 2011
  • Chart 7 – Brzail - operators’ mobile ARPU – 2008 - 2011
  • Chart 8 – Brazil - evolution of mobile technologies – 2002 - 2012
  • Chart 9 – Mobile and fixed voice traffic (volume) – 2005 – 2012
  • Chart 10 – Overview of mobile subscriber market share by operator in Australia – 2011
  • Chart 11 – Overview of mobile market revenue share by operator in Australia – 2011
  • Chart 12 – Overview of mobile subscribers per major operator in New Zealand – 2011 - 2012
  • Exhibit 1 – Carrier attributes churn to poor network coverage
  • Exhibit 2 – Growth drivers for prepaid mobiles in emerging markets
  • Exhibit 3 – Number Portability important element in competition
  • Exhibit 4 – Examples of countries with mobile numbering plans
  • Exhibit 5 – Digital Dividend
  • Exhibit 6 – FMC service examples
  • Exhibit 7 – Growth inhibitors for FMC
  • Exhibit 8 – Leading dual-mode mobile device manufacturers
  • Exhibit 9 – Mobile billionaires
  • Exhibit 10 – Billions in revenue from replacements handsets
  • Exhibit 11 – Handset prices in decline
  • Exhibit 12 – Spotlight on Apple iPhone
  • Exhibit 13 – Open Handset Alliance
  • Exhibit 14 – Spotlight on Nokia
  • Exhibit 16 – Satellite phone
  • Exhibit 17 – 2G spectrum re-farming in Australia
  • Exhibit 18 – Auction in 2.6GHz band to provide MVNOs will access to LTE in France
  • Exhibit 19 – Carrier attributes churn to poor network coverage
  • Exhibit 20 – Bundling services in Europe
  • Exhibit 21 – Subdivision of Brazil into regions and areas
  • Exhibit 22 – Brzail - H-band for 3G services – lots, areas, and spectrum winners
  • Exhibit 23 – Status of UMTS900 commercial networks (3G) in Europe – 2012
  • Exhibit 24 – UMTS900 commercial network operators (3G) by Country – 2012

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Number of pages 122

Status Archived

Last updated 5 Mar 2012
Update History

Analyst: Kylie Wansink

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