Global Wireless Telecommunications Carriers Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has Been Updated

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Although demand in the saturated developed world has started to slow, operators in the emerging economies will benefit from surging subscription rates and adoption of higher-margin products. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Global Wireless Telecommunications Carriers industry to its growing industry report collection.

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Emerging markets are far from saturation, giving carriers ample room for growth

Over the past five years, wireless communications have become essential to the day-to-day lives of the majority of the world's consumers. As a result, demand for the Global Wireless Telecommunications Carriers industry has surged, and revenue has followed suit; over the five years to 2013, revenue is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 5.0% to a staggering $1.5 trillion. According to IBISworld industry analyst Kevin Boyland, “In general, industry firms have adopted two primary strategies to grow revenue: growing subscriber numbers and increasing average revenue per user (ARPU).” These strategies are largely dependent on the domestic economies in which firms operate.

The overwhelming majority of new wireless subscriptions over the past five years have emanated from emerging markets in Asia, particularly those of India and China. Indeed, there are now over one billion mobile subscribers in China, and India is anticipated to surpass the one billion mark in early 2013. Combined, these two countries are adding 75.0 million new subscribers every quarter, according to Chetan Sharma Consulting. This rapid increase in subscribers from these markets is expected to boost revenue for the Global Wireless Telecommunications Carriers industry by 7.4% in 2013.

In contrast, markets in the developed world have reached saturation. As such, “wireless carriers are unable to achieve the subscriber growth rates of their counterparts in emerging economies,” says Boyland. Instead, carriers have focused more heavily on expanding ARPU by providing more expensive mobile data services; demand for these services has exploded over the past five years with the widespread proliferation of smartphones and tablets. Notably, however, carriers that operate primarily in Europe have experienced a slowdown in revenue growth due to the ongoing economic downturn in that region.

Still, the industry as a whole is not expected to slow down over the next five years, with revenue forecast to grow at a robust rate. This growth will likely be driven by the ongoing rollout of fourth generation (4G) networks which provide the fastest data-transfer speeds available. Meanwhile, spectrum shortages in developed economies will continue to encourage consolidation, and as emerging markets near saturation over the next five years, carriers will steer their efforts toward expanding ARPU. While the purchasing power of consumers in these emerging regions will not likely grow to rival that of consumers in developed regions, even a small increase in ARPU in these enormous markets would have a significant effect on the industry. While individual companies will be able to expand their market share and dominate their respective domestic market, market share concentration will remain low on a global scale to to a low level of industry globalization. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Global Wireless Telecommunications Carriers industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Firms in this industry operate and maintain switching and transmission facilities to provide direct communications via wireless radio transmission. Wireless services include cellular voice telephony services, messaging services, broadband data services and mobile backhaul services (i.e. transferring data from small subnetworks to a network core). Carriers may also retail mobile handsets and related equipment to consumers. The industry does not include mobile virtual network operators.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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