MNO turnover to hit $1 trillion in 2011

Global mobile operator revenues are set to break the trillion dollar mark for the first time this year. In 2010 the worldwide cellco community – which numbers more than 900 carriers – generated $965bn in annualised service revenues, according to research from Informa Telecoms & Media, and this will grow to more than $1 trillion for 2011. By the end of 2015, annual revenues will hit $1.14tn.

But Informa analyst Thomas Wehmeier noted that investment costs for operators remain extremely high. “The operators may earn big, but it should never be forgotten that they also invest heavily to generate these returns,” Wehmeier said. “Deploying and operating mobile networks to support more than 5.3 billion connections is an extremely resource-intensive business and Informa Telecoms & Media estimates that operators worldwide invested more than US$175 billion in capex during 2010 alone. Cumulatively, total capex spend shelled out by operators has been in excess of US$1 trillion over the past decade,” he added.

The research is part of Informa’s Global Mobile Forecast report, now in its tenth edition. The findings illustrate the huge importance of mobile data in the revenue mix, with non-voice revenues, including SMS, hitting $453bn in 2015, up from $253bn in 2010. Voice will remain the principal income generator, with more than 60 per cent of the industry’s revenue base at the end of the forecast period, but data is the clear opportunity.

“Put simply, getting more smartphones into users’ hands and successfully persuading them to spend on data represents the single largest revenue upside opportunity for operators worldwide,” Wehmeier said.

For more information on the research, click here.

One comment

  1. Avatar Iain Grant 21/02/2011 @ 6:58 pm

    Interesting — Global mobile turnover will equate to the size of US President Obama’s projected US 2011 deficit – a connection?!?

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