European voice revenues register first quarterly decline

Perhaps it was only a matter of time--the European mobile industry has suffered its first ever quarter of decline in voice revenues during the third quarter of 2007, according to Credit Suisse (CS) research analysts.

According to CS, this decline was caused by a combination of reduced roaming prices and termination cuts--especially in Spain and Italy, which resulted in a loss of 0.4 percent year-on-year (y/y). The company also said that Belgium and Germany suffered significant revenue falls--"six percent and four percent respectively, for the quarter.

On a more positive note, CS stated that mobile data service revenue growth (messaging and non-messaging combined) slightly accelerated, from 17.5 percent growth y/y in Q2 07 to 17.8 percent in Q3. Non-messaging revenue grew around 30-40 percent y/y, boosted, CS said, by datacards--in particular USB modems and Blackberries, and to a lesser degree more take up of 3G handsets and flat rate data plans. Messaging also continued its low growth, with more uptake of SMS bundles and still growing user adoption beyond the historic youth market.

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