Global mobile connections to hit 7.8 billion in 2016

Global mobile connections to hit 7.8 billion in 2016

  • Total revenues to hit $1,047 billion, but growth will be marginal
  • Voice revenues to decline from 2013
  • Data is growth powerhouse with revenue growth reaching 7.2%

 Global mobile connections will grow by 30 per cent over the next five years, reaching 7.8 billion in 2016, according to Ovum.

In a new report*, the independent telecoms analyst also predicts that total mobile service revenues will hit $1,047 billion in 2016.

However, revenue growth will reach a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just 1.9 per cent between 2011 and 2016. This is despite the rise of mobile data revenues for telecoms operators, which Ovum expects to grow at a CAGR of 7.2 per cent between 2011 and 2016 to reach $419 billion in 2016.

Emeka Obiodu, Ovum senior analyst and author of the report, commented: “The global mobile market will experience sustained growth in connections across all regions, but Asia, Africa and theUSwill be the main drivers and between them will add billions of connections by 2016.

“However, the significant growth in subscribers and the market’s insatiable demand for data services will not be enough to reverse the trend of overall slowing revenue growth in the market as the downward spiral in voice revenues continues to take its toll.”

Although voice will continue to play the major role in service revenues, accounting for 60 per cent of total mobile revenues in 2016, Ovum predicts that voice revenues will begin to decline in 2013 and will fall from $658 billion in 2011 to $628 billion in 2016.

Obiodu commented: “From 2013, voice revenues will begin to decline as operators struggle to derive new revenues from customers and the significance of the market’s shift towards data becomes even more apparent. In 2016, non-voice revenues will no longer be a supplement to voice revenues. Instead, they will begin to replace them.”

While the overall revenue trend is for a declining growth rate, there will be significant regional and country-level variations. Ovum predicts that mobile revenues inAfricawill grow at a CAGR of 4.9 per cent from 2011 to 2016. However, revenues inWestern Europewill decline by 0.7 per cent during the same period, falling from $193 billion in 2011 to $186 billion in 2016.

Africa will be the most prolific region for connections growth, with connections growing at a CAGR of 9.4 per cent between 2011 and 2016 to reach 991 million in 2016. This will be almost double the number of connections inNorth America, which will experience a strong CAGR of 4.2 per cent from 2011 to 2016.

Meanwhile, although connection growth has begun to slow in Asia-Pacific, the region will continue to be the greatest contributor to global connections. Between 2011 and 2016, connections in Asia-Pacific will grow at a CAGR of 6.4 per cent to reach 4.2 billion in 2016.



More detailed data is available on request.

*Global Mobile Market Outlook: 2011-16

Mobile Broadband Connections and Revenues Forecast: 2011–16

Mobile Voice and Data Forecast: 2011–16

Mobile Connections Forecast: 2011–16

To arrange an interview or for further details regarding this release please contact Kelly Livesey in the Ovum press office on +44 (0)161 238 4081, or email


Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Our research draws upon over 400,000 interviews a year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and our clients unparalleled insight not only into business requirements but also the technology that organisations must support. Ovum is part of the Informa Group.