Report finds that mobile telephony in developing countries still not affected by the financial crisis
A major new report to be published by the ITU on Monday 16 February finds that so far, mobile telephony in developing countries has survived the economic turmoil largely unscathed. The widespread expectation among some leading industry analysts contributing to the report is that the full impact of the financial crisis on mobile telephony has yet to materialize.
Worldwide, ITU statistics reveal that the total number of mobile subscribers grew by nearly 650 million over 2008 to reach nearly 4 billion subscribers in December 2008, representing total growth of 19% or nearly a fifth of total market size. According to the consultancy The Mobile World, Q3 2008 additions represented the fourth-best quarter ever.
These gains were driven mainly by growth in developing markets. In September 2008, India became the first mobile market to add more than ten million customers in one month, before beating its own record with 10.4 million additions in October 2008. The world's biggest mobile operator, China Mobile, added 74 million subscribers in the year to October 2008. In Nigeria, the number of new mobile subscribers has increased in every quarter to September 2008, while Brazil added four million mobile subscribers in October 2008, over twice as many as in October 2007.
Despite an unexpected softening in some markets (e.g. Pakistan and Bangladesh), overall, these results lead to the conclusion that there had still only been a limited impact of the financial crisis on mobile communications in developing countries by the end of last year.
For more information, read here from Monday, 16 February 2009.