Asia’s coming mobile phone boom

Growth in the global telecommunications market has shifted decisively to emerging economies in Asia and the rest of the developing world, according to data from research firm Ovum.

Growth in the global telecommunications market has shifted decisively to emerging economies in Asia and the rest of the developing world, according to data from research firm Ovum.

Revenue from customers connected to voice services, whether mobile or landline, has peaked in developed economies, with competition likely to drive average earnings in those markets down 14.7% between 2008 and 2017.

By contrast, voice revenues in emerging markets are expected to grow by 47.6% over the same period, with what Ovum describes as “spectacular” growth in mobile phone connections the main cause.

The phenomenon will be particularly pronounced in developing markets in Asia. Ovum predicts the Asian voice market will grow from 2.2 billion connections at the end of 2008 to 3.8 billion by 2017.

Emerging markets will take up the lion’s share of those connections, increasing their current 84% share of annual connections to something closer to 90%.

And the vast majority of those will be mobile phone service connections – by 2017, 83% of connections will be for mobiles, up from 76% this year.

“Emerging markets are dominated by mobile voice, and this dominance will continue for the foreseeable future”, Ovum research director David Kennedy says.

In addition, the proportion of connections that are mobile across Asia will grow from 76% to 83% of total voice connections over the same period.

“We expect total voice revenues to decline 14.7% between 2008 and 2017 in developed markets as price competition bites, especially in mobile”, said Kennedy. “Developed markets in Asia display similar growth patterns to developed markets in Europe, with fixed voice playing an ongoing role, and tougher competition in mobile.”

 

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