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January 13, 2011

Mobile service revenue to grow at 4% in 2011: WOS service report

Mobile subscriptions to cross 6 billion in 2011

By CBR Staff Writer

Mobile service revenue growth accelerated in 2010 as mobile operators benefitted from growing consumer spend after the recession, but a similar boost in 2011 is unlikely, says the Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS) service report.

The Worldwide Cellular User Forecasts and 2011 Market Trends expects that revenue growth will slow to 4% in 2011 as the sector crawls toward the $1 trillion revenue mark.

In addition, mobile subscriptions will cross 6 billion in 2011 as the world moves towards a 100% penetration rate by early 2014.

The report revealed that significant new subscription growth opportunities exist for mobile operators in new connected device categories, even though increasingly saturated markets for traditional mobile voice services will result in a slow-down in global growth rates.

Wireless Operator Strategies director and author of the report Phil Kendall said 2010 was a good year overall for mobile operators due to the improving macro-economic climate.

"However, we will not see a return to pre-recession growth rates as subscription growth moves to more marginal industry segments and mobile voice, the industry cash cow, reaches its peak," Kendall said.

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Mobile Broadband Opportunities director Susan Welsh de Grimaldo said with growth still concentrated in developed markets, 3G and 4G networks increasingly dominate the revenue picture and will account for half of all worldwide mobile service revenues this year.

"Beginning next year, Global 2G subscriptions will begin to fall as more affordable 3G devices allow operators to push services beyond higher-spending segments," Grimaldo said.

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