The Analysys-Mason top-ten table of the world’s biggest operators tells a tale or two of the telecom industry.
The annual ranking, based on 2009 revenue, is top-heavy with advanced market operators.
Despite the fast growth in the emerging telecom markets, US, EU and Japanese operators continue to dominate, with the only change being Verizon’s elevation into third spot after acquiring Alltel Wireless.
AT&T T is no. 1 and Japan's NTT – Asia’s biggest – is no. 2. China Mobile, the only purely developing-market carrier on the list, places sixth.
But emerging markets still offer bigger margins. When ranked by ebitda, China Mobile comes out top, followed by Telefónica, which has heavy exposure to Latin American mobile.
China Mobile’s ranking also says something about its dominance of the China market.
Despite the restructure two years ago aimed at beefing up its competitors, China Mobile still swallowed up 76% of profit and 47% of revenue in China’s telecom market in the first half of 2010.