Top 10 Mobile Carriers Generate US$ 202 Billion in Gross Profit, Up 4.2%
YoY, Says ABI Research
SINGAPORE -- May 2, 2013
Worldwide service revenue, year-on-year (YoY) for 4Q-2012 grew 2.8% to US$
240.5 billion. From ABI Research’s investigations, the regional dynamic is
varied. Western Europe and Africa’s mobile operator actually demonstrated a
contraction in service revenue YoY of 8.2% and 6.9% respectively. Middle East,
Latin America, and Asia-Pacific are still showing reasonably robust rates of
growth of 7% to 11%. Eastern Europe and North America, however, are only
barely keeping their service revenue growth in positive territory.
“As the underlying lift from accumulating subscribers has matured, carriers
are starting to cast around for additional revenue streams that don’t just
boost revenues but also profitability,” said Jake Saunders, VP for core
forecasting at ABI Research. “There is still tremendous income to be generated
from mobile services; the Top 10 Mobile Carriers alone generated US$ 202
billion in gross profit, up 4.2 % year-on-year in 2012.”
For some of those in the Top 10, subscriber growth is still a major
contribution (e.g. China Mobile, is 1^st; MTN is 6^th; and China Telecom,
8^th). These carriers may rely on expanding subscriber bases to drive overall
profit for another 3 to 5 years, but after that, they will need to tap other
For the other carriers in the Top 10, securing a significant market share in
their domestic/regional markets, combined with pooling infrastructure
resources such as data centers, as well as group-level handset and equipment
purchasing, has led to economies of scale. Verizon Wireless (2^nd), Vodafone
Group (3^rd), AT&T (4^th), and NTT DoCoMo (5^th) do hold significant market
shares, but this does not entirely explain their success. These carriers have
aggressively hopped onto the fourth innovation wave shaping the mobile
telecommunications industry – namely, IP-based value-added services. OTT
players can potentially sap the revenue opportunities for incumbent mobile
telecom players but carriers, such as Verizon and AT&T, are showing that it is
possible to put ARPU back on an upwards trajectory through the introduction
of, for example, multi-device tariffs and M2M services.
ABI Research’s “Mobile Carrier Operating Performance Assessment” Market Data
provides a real-time assessment of the operational performance of the mobile
carrier community as well as the applications, services, and optimization
strategies being implemented.
These findings are part of ABI Research’s new Mobile Carrier Strategies
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends
in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North
America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises
thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est.
1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
Christine Gallen, +44.203.326.0142
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