Mobile data growth is recession proof, claims Orange exec

The seemingly unstoppable demand for mobile internet access and data services appears to be recession proof, said the global head of France Telecom's Orange mobile business, Olaf Swantee.

He has stated that 24 per cent of its mobile customers were using 30Mb of data per month, compared with just 17 per cent of the customer base who were using 25Mb in February this year, and it includes customers who took pay-as-you-go and pay monthly contracts. It does not include mobile broadband customers.

While Swantee admitted that voice traffic in mature markets was reaching ‘stabilisation', "non-voice revenues seem to be quite recession proof, with music services very successful, and have exceeded expectations."

However, Swantee accepted that the growth of mobile data and the recent trialling of high definition voice services would put pressure on their network, but said they had invested in their 3G infrastructure accordingly.

Of note were comments made by the FT Orange exec concerning network sharing and mergers. Swantee claimed that FT would look for such deals where it made sense in other markets - hinting that the group was looking at potential in-country consolidation opportunities.

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