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Good news or bad news - depends on the views.

  • Posted by Tony Poulos
  • November 21, 2012 12:19 PM GMT
  • s
Bad news for some often means good news for others, and in the telecoms industry, it certainly appears the norm. This week's conflicting headlines can be either positive or negative, depending where you sit.
Image courtesy of 'digitalart' /

Revenues from Europe’s telecoms sector have declined marginally for the third year in a row, according to the trade association for the region’s operators ETNO, but considering the woes some European countries are suffering, it’s not that bad. A total decrease of about 1.5 per cent in 2011 over 2010 was reported after a big drop (8 per cent) in fixed line, mobile revenues dropped 0.6 per cent, but broadband markets revenue grew by 4 per cent.

It should be no surprise that Europe’s share of the global telecoms market had shrunk from 31 per cent to 25 per cent considering the economic climate, the saturation of some Euro member countries and the massive growth in developing markets outside Europe.

At the same time market research firm, Infonetics Research, released excerpts from its 2012 LTE Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, showing that for the first time since it began tracking LTE in 2008, “increased average revenue per user (ARPU) is among the top LTE upgrade drivers, along with spectral efficiencies that are driving down the cost per gigabyte. As a result, operators’ bottom line should improve for a change.”

And a report, undertaken by mobile industry body GSMA and Deloitte Consulting, found that mobile telephony services such as 3G technology and mobile data services are driving economic growth. The new research has revealed the upgrade to 3G in particular to be a significant economic driver.

An analysis of 96 mobile markets showed that a 10 per cent rise in 3G penetration increases GDP per capita growth by 0.15 per cent. According to the report, the use of mobile data has grown 350 per cent in Western European countries, and on a global scale more than doubled on average every year from 2005 to 2010.

Other findings include that, in developing markets, a 10 per cent growth in mobile penetration increases productivity by 4.2 per cent – with “huge” economic potential following the roll-out of mobile data networks.

The authors stressed the need for policy-makers to consider the implications of the findings, highlighting the potential boosts to economies and society, particularly through investment in broadband infrastructure.