Gloomy picture for global mobile market

Growth in mobile services revenues fell by 3 per cent globally in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 8 per cent in 2008, according to the latest data from Strategy Analytics. Total global revenues in Q1 2009 stood at US$163 billion. Markets across the world were affected but mature Western European operators were hardest hit with total revenues actually falling slightly by 1.3 per cent compared with growth of 0.5 per cent in 2008.

Western Europe also experienced a sharp decline in net subscriber additions which fell by 90 per cent overall with Germany, Italy and the UK all reporting declining subscriber numbers. And it is not just Western Europe according to Phil Kendall, Director, Wireless Network Strategies at Strategy Analytics, "Europe is seeing the greatest concentration of operators losing revenues at present. This used to just be an issue for the more saturated, Western half, but has now extended to Central and Eastern Europe, too."

Not surprisingly, mobile operators also spent less money in the quarter. Global capital expenditure was US$16 billion, equivalent to 14 per cent of service revenues, but this was down 1.4 per cent on the 2008 figure.

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Strategy Analytics: Mobile Revenue Growth Slows to 3% in Q1 2009