Global Telecom Revenue to Shrink 2% in 2018
Global telecom revenue in the 60 biggest markets will fall by two percent in US dollar terms, to US$1.2 trillion, in 2018, despite account growth, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Average revenue per user (ARPU) will fall by 2.3 percent for mobile operators, and by 11.5 percent for fixed line providers.
At the same time, operator investment will grow three percent.
Regional variations will mask the global trend.
In Latin America, total revenue in U.S. dollar terms for both fixed and mobile telecom will fall, despite mobile subscription and penetration rate growth. In other words, subscription growth no longer automatically grows revenue.
The clear exceptions will be Asia and Africa where subscription growth will be robust enough to compensate for lower ARPU. Across the Middle East and Africa, the mobile penetration rate will increase from 111 per 100 in 2017 to 115 in 2018, while in Asia it will rise from 101 to 104, the Economist predicts.