Mobile operators will struggle to cash-in on predicted rapid growth in global subscriber numbers over the next five years, research firm Ovum says.
The firm predicts a CAGR of 8% will take the total number of mobile connections to 7.4 billion by 2015, but says revenues will grow more slowly as emerging markets mature, and competition increases.
China, India and Indonesia are tipped to generate the most growth – together accounting for 38% of all connections by 2015 – but Ovum cautions that the growth rate will tail off as the markets mature.
The prediction means growth in current mature markets will be almost non-existent, restricted mostly to data connections, Ovum said.
The growing number of connections will also increase competition in the market, which will drive ARPU down to $138 (€108) in 2015.
While data revenues will grow at a CAGR of 11% to $392.9 billion in 2015, Ovum says voice will remain the big earner by that date, despite the revenue stream falling at a CAGR of 1.4% per annum to $607.9 billion by 2015.