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Growth Potential of the Mobile Telecommunications Industry


Telecommunications Industry can be mentioned as one of the most dynamic industries in the world. The reason for stating as such is, because enormous amount of innovation and R&D is taking place in the industry. As a result brand new products and concepts are coming out at a pace which is unimaginable. 6 years earlier, telecom industry was all about telecom operators. They were dominating the scene. But the introduction of smart devices turned the dominance upside down. Mobile operators are no more the dominant party in telecom industry.

With the developments happened over the years, business and consumer demand for new services keep on growing. Meanwhile, the competition to satisfy all these demands is increasing, much of it from companies outside the traditional telecom ecosystem. That is, telecom operators alone will not be able to cater the never ending needs of future telecom subscribers.

What does this mean? If you look at the positive side of it, even though telecom operators alone cannot cater the increasing requirements, as an industry there is a huge potential for growth.  The telecom ecosystem itself is becoming much more competitive, as new entrants from adjacent industries look to exploit this openness, cater ever increasing customer expectations, and thus challenge the telecom operators’ traditional operating behaviour.


When looking at the growth potential, as at the end of year 2013 there were 3.4 billion mobile subscribers. This number is more than half of the world population. And it is expected to reach, 4 billion by mid 2018. GSMA has presented a report which has given an insight about past and future trends in mobile telecommunications industry.

According to the report total sim – enabled connections will grow from 6.8 billion in 2013 to 9.7 billion by 2017. In 2012 there were 1.6 billion mobile broadband connections. As per the predictions the number will grow up to 5.1 billion. These numbers (predictions) are more than enough to prove the growth potential of the industry, because these are only stats related to mobile telecommunications industry. What about fixed telecommunications industry? Some would argue, with the increasing number of hand held devices it might not be a good choice from an operators’ point of view.

LTE is technology which has able to capture a lot of attention of the industry in recent times. According to the predictions LTE/4G networks will account for 1 in 5 Mobile Broadband subscriptions by 2017, where as the number had been 1 in 25 in 2012. Another very critical stat is about the growth of mobile data volume predictions at the start of the year 2017. In 2012 mobile data volume per month had been 0.9 Exabytes (Considering 220 countries in the world). This number is expected to rise up to 11.2 Exabytes per month.

As you can see, numbers look very exciting. More importantly, according to the stats it is clear that growth potential of the telecommunications industry is very high. But the difference from 5 years earlier will be, there will be many parties who would engage in the industry. Companies in adjacent industries such as software and the Internet, and the computing and electronics industries that are now elbowing their way into the realm of telecommunica­tions, will be a definite threat to traditional telecom operators.

You can go to download the complete report “GSMA Mobile Economy 2013″ report. You could get a clear idea on what exactly will happen to mobile telecom industry in coming years. (You can find predictions up to year 2017)

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Category: Mobile

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