Growth abandoned the West European cellular market in Q3 2008, as the global recession hit mobile spending patterns, according to a report issued by Strategy Analytics. While mobile data revenues continued to perform well, the voice market took a turn for the worse around the globe.
Collectively, mobile operators performed well in Q3 2008, with subscriber growth remaining very strong and profit margins stable. However, the mobile voice market did see revenue growth slow more than expected. Many operators in mature markets are recording falling voice revenues, and some operators in emerging markets such as China, Indonesia and Thailand are now finding it tough.
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Source: Cellular News.
“Mobile voice revenues have been falling by around 1% per annum over the last 18 months in Western Europe, and dropped by over 3% in the third quarter,” comments Phil Kendall, Director Global Wireless Practice and author of the report. “Users are still talking more than a year ago, but they are also pocketing some of the savings offered by falling prices. Coupled with weakness in sectors such as international roaming, as companies cut back on business travel, the European mobile voice market is set for a challenging 2009.”
Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Senior Analyst, Wireless Network Strategies, adds “Mobile data revenues grew by 20% globally in Q3 2008, and these have kept service revenues growing in many mature markets. However, even these could not save the European market last quarter from service revenue growth coming to an abrupt halt.”