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Mobile revenue trends in a changing global economy



Over the last decade the mobile telecoms industry has scaled dramatically. Global mobile connections surpassed 1 billion in 2002, equating to roughly one connection for every six people. By 2012 this had reached 6.5 billion connections - ten connections for every eleven people on the planet.

However, intensifying competition, exacerbated by a deteriorating global macroeconomic environment, has seen mobile operator’s share of GDP hit a ceiling. While mobile connection penetration continues to rise above the 100% mark across a majority of countries worldwide, global revenue growth fell from double to single digits in 2008, while mobile revenue as a share of GDP peaked in 2009 at 1.63%, and has since then averaged 1.55%.

In this report, we analyse the factors that have influenced mobile revenue trends, and highlight some of the changes mobile operators in saturated markets are introducing to differentiate their offers and preserve margins.

Mobile spending as a % of GDP, global

Mobile spending as a % of GDP, global
Source: GSMA Intelligence


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