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Infonetics: Europe’s Big 5 Push for Consolidation as Mobile Service Revenue Drags on the Global Market

Telecom market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its latest 2G, 3G, LTE Mobile Services and Subscribers market size and forecast report, which tracks mobile service revenue, mobile voice and data average revenue per user (ARPU), and mobile voice and broadband subscribers.

The report shows that in 2013, mobile operators around the world took in $800 billion from mobile services—including mobile voice, SMS/MMS, and broadband—an increase of just 1% from the year before. When the growth rates of the world’s main regions are parsed individually, though, a clearer story emerges, as Asia Pacific (+5%), the Caribbean and Latin America (+4%), and North America (+3%) together offset a high single-digit decline in EMEA.


“Europe dragged global mobile service revenue again in 2013, plagued by mobile saturation and weak consumer spending across the board—even in Germany, the euro zone’s largest economy—and fierce price-based competition in markets including Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and The Netherlands,” notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

Téral adds: “At this point, the CEOs of Europe’s BIG 5—Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Vodafone—are pushing the European Commission for more consolidation to reduce the number of operators in each country, from four or five to just three. The hope is this will restore operators’ revenue growth and margins, similar to what we saw in Austria.”


  • Mobile broadband fueled overall mobile service revenue growth in 2013, offsetting year-over-year decreases in voice and SMS revenue
  • Despite the rise of mobile data, blended ARPU continues to fall or, at best, stay flat in every region except developing Asia Pacific, where it rose slightly in China
  • Infonetics anticipates that mobile broadband subscribers will pass postpaid voice subscribers by the end of 2014
  • Voice services are expected to stay above 50% of total mobile service revenue through 2016
  • Mobile broadband revenue is forecast by Infonetics to grow at an 11.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2018
  • LTE services are expected to account for half of total mobile broadband service revenue in 2018, with North America making up the majority


Infonetics’ biannual mobile services report provides worldwide and regional market size, forecasts through 2018, analysis, and trends for voice, SMS/MMS, and broadband mobile service revenue, ARPU, and subscribers by technology (GSM, W-CDMA/HSPA, TD-SCDMA, cdmaOne, CDMA2000/EV-DO, FDD-LTE, TDD-LTE). The report features a Mobile Broadband Service Tracker following service provider deployments by country, technology and number of subscribers. To buy report, contact Infonetics:



Download Infonetics’ 2014 market research brochure, publication calendar, events brochure, report highlights, tables of contents, and more at


Visit to register for upcoming webinars, view recent webinars on demand, or learn about sponsoring a webinar.

  • NFV: An Easier Initial Target Than SDN? (June 19: Attend)
  • Diameter Signaling Control for LTE Networks (View on-demand)
  • How to Get the Best Out of DAS, Small Cells, and WiFi (View on-demand)
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  • The Role of NFV in Mobile Networks (Sponsor)


N. America (West), Asia Pacific: Larry Howard, [email protected], +1 408-583-3335

N.A. (East, Midwest), L. America, EMEA: Scott Coyne, [email protected], +1 408-583-3395

Greater China, SE Asia, India: 大中华区 Jeffrey Song, [email protected], +86 21-3919-8505

Japan 日本 Takashi Kimura, TAK Analytics, [email protected], +81 3-6408-5566

South Korea 대한민국 Doug Moon, MBAP, [email protected], +82 2-3453-9400


Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete effectively. View Infonetics’ About Us slides at

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