Mobile operator group ranking, Q2 2016
Organic growth spurs movement in rankings
Telefónica Group returned to third place in our latest operator group ranking, which also saw some developing market groups move further up the table. The study ranks global operators using a model based on reported mobile connections (including cellular M2M) and mobile revenues (see Notes on methodology below).
China Mobile was comfortably the largest group in terms of connections, reaching 912.3 million as of Q2 2016. While other operator groups recorded greater revenues (inclusive of fixed line and other non-mobile services), it was also the largest group by mobile revenues, attaining annualised revenues of $107 billion for the year ending Q2 2016. Verizon Wireless and AT&T followed in second and third place in terms of revenues, with mobile accounting for 69% and 47% of total revenues respectively.
The remaining positions in the top 10 were predominantly filled by operator groups with substantial global footprints across multiple markets and/or a strong presence in the US, including Vodafone, Telefónica, América Móvil, Bharti Airtel, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Deutsche Telekom.
Having dropped to fifth place in our last ranking, Telefónica Group climbed back to third following the reconsolidation of its UK operation after its sale to CK Hutchison Group was blocked. A lack of any significant mobile merger activity since our last ranking means that changes in this iteration are driven largely by organic growth. Idea Cellular and Telkomsel (Telekomunikasi Indonesia) are two examples of this, overtaking Telecom Italia to move into 20th and 21st respectively. In addition, Telenor overtook MTN to move into 12th place, with strong connections growth in its operations in India and Myanmar.
Notes on methodology
Subsidiaries are included within a parent group as per reported consolidation. Minority holdings (less than 50% plus one share) are included where a group does so within its audited financial statements.
Data for connections is shown as the period-ending value, excluding customers from any subsidiaries that have been divested over the course of the year. Revenue data in US dollars is annualised, such that revenue attributed to any qualifying subsidiary is included on a quarterly basis over the four quarters provided the subsidiary meets the rules for consolidation in the respective quarter.
The ranking gives equal weighting to period-ending connections and annualised mobile revenue in determining final positions. The ranking by connections and revenue is combined to give a GSMA Intelligence June 2016 overall ‘score’, with a lower combined score ranking higher. For example, Vodafone is ranked second by connections and fourth by revenue, giving it a combined score of 6 (2+4). This ranks the group second behind China Mobile, which scores 2 (1+1), as it is the largest group by both connections and revenue. Where scores are tied, the rank by connections is used as the deciding factor.
|Connections, including cellular M2M (million) 1||
|12-month mobile revenue
($ billion) 1
|1||China Mobile 2, 3||912.3||1||$107.0||1|
|2||Vodafone Group 3||464.6||2||$59.9||4|
|3||Telefónica Group 3||272.6||6||$42.6||7|
|4||China Unicom 2, 3||286.0||4||$27.7||10|
|5||América Móvil Group 3||282.9||5||$36.0||9|
|6||Bharti Airtel Group||342.0||3||$12.7||15|
|7||China Telecom 2||223.2||8||$25.6||11|
|8||AT&T Group 2||143.3||16||$75.5||3|
|9||Verizon Wireless 2||135.3||17||$90.4||2|
|10||Deutsche Telekom Group||160.7||14||$51.1||6|
|11||Orange Group 3||192.9||11||$21.3||12|
|13||MTN Group 3||232.6||7||$10.6||19|
|14||SoftBank Group 3||102.7||21||$59.6||5|
|15||Etisalat Group 3||163.0||13||$14.1||14|
|17||NTT DOCOMO Group 2||71.7||29||$39.0||8|
|18||CK Hutchison Group||102.3||22||$11.1||17|
|22||Telecom Italia Group 3||93.7||25||$9.9||21|
|23||Sistema Group 3||116.6||19||$6.9||28|
|26||SK Telecom 3||29.4||46||$10.7||18|
|28||STC Group 2, 3||29.4||47||$10.2||20|
|29||Turkcell Group 2, 3||66.5||30||$4.4||38|
|30||Maxis Communications Group 2, 3||101.8||23||$3.3||46|
Operator-group ranking, consolidated ownership, Q2 2016
Source: GSMA Intelligence
1 Connections and revenue are aggregated as the sum of each group's consolidated subsidiaries
2 Estimated connections
3 Includes minor contribution from fixed-line services