2018 Global Mobile Infrastructure and Mobile Broadband - Mobile maturity differs around the world

Publication Overview

The global mobile industry is a continuously evolving sector which plays a huge part in the economic and social progress of most countries. However there are enormous variances around the world in terms of telecoms and mobile market maturity. With the emerging 5G on the horizon, it is the countries with more mature markets which are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new technologies. This report provides valuable information, analyses and statistics on the global mobile industry including mobile broadband. It also provides regional mobile market overviews and incorporates BuddeComm’s Telecoms Maturity Index which measures and ranks the maturity of a country’s telecoms industry on a scale of 1 to 100.

Subjects include:

  • Global mobile communications market – key statistics and trends;
  • Global mobile broadband market – key statistics and trends;
  • Global mobile devices market – smartphones, tablets, phablets and wearables;
  • Global mobile infrastructure – LTE, LTE-A, VoLTE and 5G;
  • Regional mobile market overviews;
  • Comparison of the maturity of telecom markets around the world using BuddeComm’s unique “Telecoms Maturity Index” (TMI) for Africa; Asia; Europe; Latin America and The Middle East.

Researchers:- Kylie Wansink, Phil Harpur, Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- August 2018 (17th Edition)

Executive Summary

The more mature mobile markets are progressing towards 5G

Many regions around the world offer a diverse range of maturity when considering the telecoms industry, with some markets having a high level of mobile penetration but low level of fixed broadband infrastructure and others comprising both. Across the board however; the demand for data services just continues to rise with governments and operators investing heavily in installing and upgrading infrastructure to maintain and expand networks.

Substantial investments in LTE technology have occurred in most parts of the world and many countries are now gearing up for the potential opportunities offered by the highly anticipated 5G technology.

Asia is one example of a diverse region with regards to its telecoms industry. It contains a vast array of countries, ranging from those with highly mature and advanced telecommunications markets, that are world leaders in the move towards 5G, such as South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, to some of the poorest and least developed countries such as North Korea and Afghanistan.

Africa also has one of the more diverse mobile markets, with a large number of operators providing voice and data services. The different levels of market development have characterised the mix, with commercially launched LTE services particularly strong in a number of countries such as South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya, and yet still absent in some countries, particularly those with low incomes or with poorly functioning economies. Similarly with mobile data use, there is a close relationship between data take-up and consumption and the condition and extent of fixed-line networks.

There remain some significant differences in maturity within Europe as well. In general terms, the Scandinavian and northern European countries tend to have a higher telecom maturity, followed by those of southern Europe and then those within eastern Europe. Those in eastern Europe were long-hampered by underinvestment during decades under Communist rule. The gaps between these regions are closing however.

Globally, the mobile markets continue to offer huge potential for growth in mobile data, on the back of the sheer volume of mobile services on offer. The rapid take-up has been underpinned by increasingly cheaper smartphone prices and lower airtime tariffs leading to even wider adoption. The next wave for smart phone growth will also involve advancements made with 5G technology and demand for 5G capable devices.

The telecoms industry is poised for further transformation with the highly anticipated 5G technology on the horizon. It has attracted intense interest from the ICT industry and wider community due to its potential to increase opportunities for developments related to IoT including M2M communications, virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence and mission critical communication. It is also expected to enhance overall capacity, speed and latency of the mobile networks.

In 2018 there has become an obvious “race to market” competition around the world with operators and governments all wanting to be the first to capture the opportunities presented by the 5G evolution. In particular, a number of countries in the Middle East are demonstrating significant 5G progress.

In the meantime, 4G LTE deployments and upgrades will remain a key infrastructure priority and we will see continuing mobile broadband growth around the world. Mobile broadband penetration is fast approaching 100% in the lucrative developed markets while the developing markets offer significant opportunities for growth with mobile broadband penetration reaching around a 50% rate.

This BuddeComm annual publication provides valuable information on the diverse worldwide mobile markets. It includes analysis of important global trends supported by industry statistics relating to technologies; subscribers; revenue and mobile devices. It provides information and statistics relating to 4G LTE as well as the emerging 5G technology.

Regionally there is much diversification when comparing the telecoms markets globally. This report includes an overview of the mobile markets in the major regions around the world. It also incorporates BuddeComm’s Telecoms Maturity Index which measures and ranks the maturity of a country’s telecoms industry on a scale of 1 to 100. All countries are placed into one of three categories: Market Leaders, Market Challengers and Market Laggards, according to their Market Index score. Comparisons are also made between the mobile broadband and fixed broadband penetration of the various countries which comprise the regions of Africa; Asia; Europe; Latin America and The Middle East.

Key developments:

  • While there is currently a lot of discussion around 5G - it is 4G LTE which is going to take us through the next decade.
  • Most global telecommunications spending is now directed towards the mobile industry and this is set to only increase as mobile data and M2M usage continues to grow.
  • The majority of mobile broadband subscriptions are held in the Asia-Pacific region; followed by the Americas.
  • The mobile broadband subscriber base across all of Asia continues to grow strongly.
  • A number of countries in southern Europe have particularly high mobile penetration rates.
  • There have been considerable advances made in the deployment of LTE in Latin America.
  • In the Middle East; it is Kuwait that has the highest mobile subscriber penetration in the region.
  • There remains room for further growth in Africa since many markets still have mobile and mobile broadband penetration rates below the average.
  • Declining revenue from voice services in the USA is compensated for by high growth in mobile data use.

Kylie Wansink
August 2018

Table of Contents

  • Major trends and industry statistics

    • Global mobile market analysis – 2018
      • Highlighted trends
    • Global mobile subscriptions
      • Global mobile technologies market share
    • Global mobile broadband subscriber statistics
    • The emerging markets to watch
    • Financial insights
      • Global mobile spending
      • Global mobile capital expenditure (CAPEX)
      • Global mobile revenue
      • Global mobile ARPU
    • Mobile data traffic
    • Leading global operators
    • Smartphones and handset device trends and statistics
      • Key mobile device trends
      • Enviro-friendly handsets
      • Mobile handset and smartphone statistics
    • Wearable device trends and statistics
      • Wearable device categories
      • Global wearable device market
      • Enterprise wearable devices
      • Legal implications of wearables gains attention
      • Virtual reality (VR) and wearable technology
    • Mobile industry directions
      • Data mining – a next driver of mobile revenue
      • The spectrum issue
      • Mobile location based services (MLBS)
      • HetNet architecture
      • Small cell networks
      • Monetising mobile towers
      • Fixed Mobile Conversion
  • 4G LTE – Major trends and statistics

    • Market analysis
      • Global LTE subscriptions and deployments
      • Regional LTE observations
    • Global VoLTE overview
      • Case study: VoLTE in India
    • LTE and spectrum use
    • Other LTE trends
      • LTE-B – Embms
      • LTE-U and LAA
    • Global WiFi market
      • Wi-Fi hotspots
      • Homespots
      • Venue Wi-Fi
      • Other Wi-fi trends
      • Other short-range technologies
  • 5G – Major trends, leading countries and statistics

    • 5G is an evolutionary process
    • 5G in the global context
      • 5G statistics and forecasts
    • The spectrum issue
      • 5G spectrum developments
      • Spectrum allocation around the world
      • 5G speeds
    • Regional overview of progress towards 5G
      • Examples of 5G developments – selected countries
    • 5G – brief country case studies
      • China
      • Taiwan
      • Finland
      • Qatar
    • Key considerations for governments and operators
    • Key industry consortiums
      • 3G PPP
      • IMT 2020
      • 5G Vertical Industry Accelerator
      • 5G PPP
    • 5G technologies and services
      • What makes 5G special?
      • 5G as a platform for IoT and smart developments
    • The role of fibre in the development of 5G
  • Regional market overviews

    • Africa
      • Overview and analysis
      • Africa Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI)
      • Africa Telecom Maturity Index by tier
      • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
      • Africa fixed and mobile broadband penetration
    • Asia
      • Overview and analysis
      • Asian Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI)
      • Asian TMI by Tier
    • Europe
      • Overview and analysis
      • Europe Telecoms maturity index (TMI)
      • TMI versus GDP
      • Europe Telecom Maturity Index by tier
      • Europe - mobile and mobile broadband penetration
      • Europe fixed and mobile broadband penetration
    • Latin America
      • Overview and analysis
      • Latin America Telecoms maturity index (TMI)
      • TMI versus GDP
      • Latin America Telecom Maturity Index by tier
      • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
      • Fixed and mobile broadband penetration
    • North America
      • Overview and analysis
    • Middle East
      • Overview and analysis
      • Middle East telecoms maturity index (TMI)
      • TMI versus GDP
      • Middle East mobile and mobile broadband penetration
      • Middle East fixed and mobile broadband penetration
      • GCC countries fixed and mobile broadband penetration
    • Pacific
      • Australia
      • New Zealand
      • Pacific Island Countries (PIC)

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Regional – mobile broadband penetration – 2014 – 2017
  • Table 2 – Global – unique mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 3 – Regional - mobile subscriptions – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 4 – Global – market share of mobile technologies – 2018
  • Table 5 – Global – active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 6 – Regional – Active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2014 – 2017
  • Table 7 – Global – mobile CAPEX – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Global – telecoms CAPEX – 2008 – 2017
  • Table 9 – Global - mobile revenue – 2014 – 2020
  • Table 10 – Global average monthly mobile ARPU and annual change – 2005 – 2016
  • Table 11 – Regional - mobile data traffic use – 2016
  • Table 12 – Global top 15 mobile operators by sales – 2016
  • Table 13 – Leading countries - used smart phone market – 2016
  • Table 14 – Global – mobile handset shipments – 2004 – 2019
  • Table 15 – Global – smartphone shipments – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Global – smartphone share of handset market – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Global – historical - wearable devices by category – market share – 2013 – 2015
  • Table 18 – Global – wearable device shipments – 2014 – 2021
  • Table 19 – Global – top 5 wearable device vendors market share – Q3 2015 – 2017
  • Table 20 – Global LTE subscribers – 2011 – 2022
  • Table 21 – Global LTE network growth – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 22 – LTE penetration by region – Q1 2017; Q4 2017
  • Table 23 – Global VoLTE subscribers – 2017, 2022
  • Table 24 – Global number of public Wi-Fi hotspots – 2015; 2016; 2020; 2021
  • Table 25 – Global number of public and private homespots – 2015; 2020
  • Table 26 – Global Bluetooth device shipments– 2012 – 2021
  • Table 27 – Global – market share of mobile technologies – 2018
  • Table 28 – Global – 5G connections – 2019 – 2022
  • Table 29 – Global –mobile technologies by connections (including 5G) – 2019 - 2022
  • Table 30 – Potential frequency bands for 5G deployment
  • Table 31 – Examples of selected countries demonstrating 5G progress
  • Table 32 – Africa – leading MNOs by subscribers – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 33 – Asia - Total mobile subscribers and penetration - 2011 – 2017
  • Table 34 – Europe - Total mobile subscribers and penetration - 1998 – 2018
  • Table 35 – Latin America - major mobile operators – subscribers – 2012 – 2017
  • Table 36 – USA – Wireless subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 37– Canada - Wireless subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2019
  • Table 38 – Middle East – mobile subscribers by country – 2013 – 2017
  • Table 39 – Australia - Mobile subscribers, penetration and annual change (with forecast) – 2000 – 2022
  • Table 40 – New Zealand - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration rate – 2001 – 2018
  • Table 41 – South Pacific Islands mobile subscribers in selected countries – 2011 – 2017/2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile broadband penetration – developed versus developing markets – 2014 – 2017
  • Chart 2 – LTE penetration by region – Q4 2017
  • Chart 3 – Africa Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita – 2017
  • Chart 4 – Africa Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Leaders (top tier) – 2017
  • Chart 5 – Africa Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Challengers (middle tier) – 2017
  • Chart 6 – Africa Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Laggards (bottom tier) – 2017
  • Chart 7 – Africa mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 8 – West Africa mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 9 – Southern Africa mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration - 2017
  • Chart 10 – Central Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 11 – East Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 12 – North Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2017
  • Chart 13 – West Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2017
  • Chart 14 – Southern Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2017
  • Chart 15 – Central Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2017
  • Chart 16 – East Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates – 2017
  • Chart 17 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
  • Chart 18 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 19 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Leaders Category
  • Chart 20 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Challengers Category
  • Chart 21 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Laggards Category
  • Chart 22 – Fixed Broadband vs Mobile Penetration – Top Ten Countries in Asia by Population – 2017
  • Chart 23 – Fixed Broadband vs Mobile Penetration – Top Ten Countries in Asia by GDP –2017
  • Chart 24 – Europe - Overall view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 25 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Leaders (top tier)
  • Chart 26 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Challengers (middle tier)
  • Chart 27 – Europe Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Laggards (bottom tier)
  • Chart 28 – Europe - mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 29 – Scandinavia and Baltics: mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 30 – Northern Europe –mobile subscriber penetration vs mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 31 – Southern Europe: mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 32 – Eastern Europe: mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 33 – Scandinavia and Baltics fixed and mobile penetration rates
  • Chart 34 – Northern Europe – fixed and mobile penetration rates
  • Chart 35 – Southern Europe – fixed and mobile penetration rates
  • Chart 36 – Eastern Europe – fixed and mobile penetration rates
  • Chart 37 – Latin America Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 38 – Caribbean Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 39 – Latin America –Overall Telecoms Maturity Index
  • Chart 40 – Latin America Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Leaders Category
  • Chart 41 – Latin America Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Challengers Category
  • Chart 42 – Latin America Telecoms Maturity Index – Market Laggards Category
  • Chart 43 – Latin America mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 44 – South America mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 45 – Central America mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 46 – Caribbean mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 47 – Latin America fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 48 – Caribbean fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration
  • Chart 49 – USA – Wireless subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2019
  • Chart 50 – Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) – 2017
  • Chart 51 – Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) vs GDP per capita – 2017
  • Chart 52 – Middle East – mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 53 – Middle East - fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 54 – GCC members – fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 55 – Australia - Mobile subscribers and penetration (with forecast) – 2007 – 2022
  • Chart 56 – New Zealand - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration rate – 2005 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Global content delivery ecosystem
  • Exhibit 2 – Software Defined Networks
  • Exhibit 3 – Wearable smart rings
  • Exhibit 4 – LTE definition
  • Exhibit 5 – VoLTE history: data first, voice second
  • Exhibit 6 – Fon
  • Exhibit 7 – Case Study – Airline Lounges
  • Exhibit 8 – Bluetooth SIG
  • Exhibit 9 – Key global developments towards 5G standardisation
  • Exhibit 10 – Key considerations for government and regulators in relation to 5G
  • Exhibit 11 – Potential 5G elements
  • Exhibit 12 – Recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Exhibit 13 – Africa – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 14 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 15 – Europe - Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 16 – Latin America - Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 17 – Middle East - Key characteristics of telecoms markets by country
  • Exhibit 18 – Middle East - Generalised market characteristics by market segment

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Licence Information

Annual Publication Profile

Technologies

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

Number of pages 217

Status Archived

Last updated 15 Aug 2018
Update History

Lead Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Contributing Analysts:

Phil Harpur
Henry Lancaster

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