According to a new report from independent telecoms analyst Ovum, global mobile connections will grow by 30 percent over the next five years, reaching 7.8 billion in 2016.
Perhaps even more importantly, the report projects that total mobile service revenues will reach a staggering $1,047 billion in 2016.
Revenue growth will reach a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just 1.9 per cent between 2011 and 2016. This is despite the rise of mobile data revenues for telecoms operators which Ovum expects to grow at a CAGR of 7.2 per cent between 2011 and 2016 to reach $419 billion in 2016.
“The global mobile market will experience sustained growth in connections across all regions,” says Emeka Obiodu, Ovum senior analyst and author of the report, “but Asia, Africa and the US will be the main drivers and between them will add billions of connections by 2016.”
“However, the significant growth in subscribers and the market’s insatiable demand for data services will not be enough to reverse the trend of overall slowing revenue growth in the market as the downward spiral in voice revenues continues to take its toll,” Obiodu added
Although voice will continue to play the major role in service revenues, accounting for 60 percent of total mobile revenues in 2016, Ovum predicts that voice revenues will begin to decline in 2013 and will fall from $658 billion in 2011 to $628 billion in 2016.
“From 2013, voice revenues will begin to decline as operators struggle to derive new revenues from customers and the significance of the market’s shift towards data becomes even more apparent,” Obiodu concluded. “In 2016, non-voice revenues will no longer be a supplement to voice revenues. Instead, they will begin to replace them.”