Global Phone Sales Keep Climbing

The global mobile phone sector will reach revenues of US$1 trillion in 2015, a year later than anticipated, according to research firm Ovum.

This is a sign that the market is maturing rapidly, Ovum says in a new report, "Global mobile market outlook: 2010-15."

"The global economic crisis and the maturity of the market have impacted revenues, which it originally anticipated would hit US$1000 billion in 2014," the report concludes.

The report also predicts that connections will grow to 7.4 billion in the next five years -- a growth rate far outstripping revenues. The growth will come from emerging markets in the Asia Pacific, particularly the big three: China, India, and Indonesia. Combined, these markets will contribute 2.8 billion connections by 2015, or 38 per cent of the global total, the report reveals.

"The Asia Pacific will be the largest contributor of data revenues due to its sheer volume of connections and presence of significant data markets," said Steven Hartley, report author and an Ovum principal analyst.

However, even these markets are not immune from the growing trend of "emerging maturity."

Change in Behavior of Mobile Operators

Connection growth rates will decline rapidly in all markets towards the end of 2015, the report says. The report also reveals that the effects of emerging market growth and intense competition worldwide will cause a sea change in the behavior of mobile operators keen to thrive in 2015, causing them to become increasingly cost-focused.

And when it comes to mobile services, the report predicts that there will be continued growth in data services, but that voice will remain key.

"In the Asia Pacific, voice revenues will still provide 57 per cent of total mobile revenues in 2015," Hartley said.

The report also reveals that the growing maturity and competition of the mobile sector will move the industry towards its 2020 vision of SMART (services, management, applications, relationships and technology) and LEAN (low-cost enablers of agnostic networks) players.

"Mobile operators are likely to chase the SMART role over the next five years, although we believe that very few will succeed. Most operators will need to evolve to become LEAN players in the longer term," concludes Hartley.

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