Mobile voice revenues stalling

Analysts this week warned that half of all Western Europe’s mobile operators recorded annual falls in voice revenues over the first quarter of the year, as revenue growth in the region as a whole stalls.

According to a report from Strategy Analytics, ‘Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking, Q1 2007,’ revenues per minute from wireless voice fell 12 per cent as regulatory pressure and competition continue to bite.

Voice revenues fell by a sizeable 9 per cent at Vodafone Germany, while operators in many other West European markets experienced more modest declines. Operators in Spain performed best in the region, with voice revenue growth ranging from 6 per cent at Orange to 11 per cent at Vodafone.

“Mobile operators across the region are devoting significant resources to increasing voice use on their networks, something which still accounts for 80 per cent of their revenues,” said Phil Kendall, director of global wireless practice and author of the report.

“Homezone pricing, larger bundles of free minutes and free off-peak or on-net calling are increasingly common. However, while these efforts are stimulating usage they are doing little to boost spending levels.”

The analyst notes that revenues per minute from wireless voice have been falling faster than at any point this decade and anticipates that voice revenues will reach their peak this year. However data revenue growth will keep total revenues in positive territory beyond that.

Data revenues increased to 20 per cent of total service revenues during the first quarter.

The report tracks the operational and financial performance of 125 individual operators, accounting for 75 per cent of the world’s cellular users.

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