While the number of mobile network operators has grown over the past six years, mobile services continue to be dominated by the largest operators, posing significant long-term challenges to new competitors in their efforts to build market share and sustainable revenue streams, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.
The number of mobile network operators (MNOs) per country has continued to increase from an average 4.0 operators per country in 2004 to 4.9 this year, leading to increased competition at the local level and smaller market share for the top players. When analyzing emerging and developed markets separately, one can discern two separate and distinct trends: In developed regions, the number of operators stayed relatively flat, whereas in emerging markets the number of operators per country increased from an average of 4.0 in 2004 to 5.4 today, notes Emily Smith, Research Associate at Pyramid.
"As mobile markets mature, Pyramid Research has found that the market share for the top operators converges toward an equilibrium point that is roughly the same across all global regions," Smith says. "While the average market share has hardly changed in developed regions, in emerging regions the market share for top operators has decreased by 10 percentage points in the past seven years." "Due to consumers' changing appetite for mobile services over the course of the recent global financial crisis, the speed at which the top operators lost share increased, although now that the global economy is moving into a recovery stage, top operators can expect to experience less share shrinkage than in recent years," Smith adds.
Source: Cellular News