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Global Mobile Operators - Regional Leaders - Overview and Statistics

  • March 2017
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 130 pages

International expansion has strengthened the operations of many mobile operators

In 2017 the global mobile market has its sights firmly set on the opportunities offered through mobile data as well as looking for potential new revenues streams presented by the enterprise sector, data mining, 5G and international expansion.
Mobile saturation has occurred in many of the developed markets and this has forced some of the operators to look for new opportunities – particularly those offered by expanding regionally or internationally. This has occurred in most regions of the world – and as a result some operators have become powerful and dominant regional leaders.

In Latin America, for example, the mobile market continues to be dominated by a small number of operators which each have businesses in multiple countries. These include Telefónica Group; Mexico’s América Móvil, trading as Telcel in its domestic market and as Claro in the remaining 16 markets in the region; Telecom Italia, AT&T Mexico and Millicom International. The dominance of these operators is being gradually eroded however as a result of efforts by a number of national regulators to facilitate the entry of MVNOs and to encourage the participation of smaller players in spectrum auctions.

In the more developed markets of Asia, growth is shifting away from a focus on subscriber numbers and towards the expansion of new generation platforms and increased data usage driven by value-added services and increased ARPUs. There are those companies such as SingTel, Vodafone, and Axiata (formerly Telekom Malaysia International) that have built a substantial presence around the Asian region beyond their own domestic market through their shareholdings in operators in multiple other markets.

In the Pacific region; the Australian mobile market is dominated by the three major mobile network operators Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone (VHA), though there are numerous MVNOs which have a significant market share. These have been able to offer LTE services on a wholesale basis since early 2016, thus encouraging growth in the LTE sector and cementing the role which MVNOs play in the overall market.

Fiji is one of the telecoms leaders in the South Pacific region, along with Papua New Guinea. Similar to many developing nations, it is heavily reliant on mobile technologies rather than fixed lines. The percentage of unique mobile subscribers in Fiji sits at around 69%. Vodafone Fiji Limited (VFL) and Digicel Fiji are the major mobile operators and the only MVNO is Australian company, Inkk Mobile which operates on VFL’s network.

Three mobile service operators provide services in Papua New Guinea including Digicel, Bmobile (Vodafone), and Citifon (Telikom PNG). However, in February 2017 it was announced that Dataco, Bmobile and Telikom PNG would be merged together to form Kumul Telikom. The three entities would be able to share resources and infrastructure, making it potentially more cost effective and competitive.

Although there are a large number of network operators across the African continent, and also smaller niche MVNO players, there are also a small number of pan-regional network operators. These include Millicom, Orange Group, Vodacom and Bharti Airtel. Some rationalisation of their operations continues as these players adjust their strategies to fit in with market positions and expectations.

There are a number of companies which have a large presence in the Middle East. Zain, Ooredoo and MTN are three examples of companies operating in multiple markets and the international players of Orange and Vodafone also operate in region.
As with Latin America and Africa, the European region is notable for having half a dozen pan-European operators with interests in several key markets. These main players include Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Vodafone Group, Hutchison and TeliaSonera. There has been much jostling among these operators as they seek to strengthen their presence in particular markets. This has in turn caused some disquiet among national regulators and European competition authorities, which are keen to preserve a quorum of key players (generally four) within a given market.

This BuddeComm publication provides a global overview of the mobile market, supported by statistics as well as an overview of the mobile markets for each major region of the world. Country case studies for each region are also included, along with identification of the major MNOs and MVNOs operating in each region/country.

Key developments:
- Data mining will be the next driver of mobile revenue;
- Mobile operators need to rethink their business models;
- For new ideas, the industry should look towards the OTT players;
- Operators in Latin America will need to invest in LTE infrastructure and enhance their mobile data and broadband offerings in a bid to secure revenue growth;
- Whilst there are still developing markets in Asia which are continuing to grow their mobile subscriber base at high annual rates, total market growth in the region has eased considerably in the last few years. This is not surprising given that a significant number of markets have well and truly saturated over the last year or so.
- Digicel, which has an expanding business across Samoa and Fiji in the Pacific, built a $500 million mobile network in PNG, becoming the country’s largest non-mining investor;
- Although ARPU remains relatively low for operators, considering the level of disposable income in the region, Africa remains a key area for investment among players;
- There are several dozen MVNOs in the US market, most of them small and with a regional focus;
- While population increases across Europe mean that there is a steady influx of new mobile subscribers, the market has a sufficiently high penetration rate that growth is largely lateral, in that subscribers are migrating from 2G to 3G and LTE networks. As a result, the proportion of 2G subscribers is falling sharply, and while there remains steady, if slow, growth in the 3G sector this will also begin to fall from late 2017 or 2018 as subscribers shift to LTE networks. This movement is being encouraged by network operators which hope to capitalise on revenue derived from greater take-up of mobile broadband and data services;
- Although MVNOs were late to arrive in the Middle East, several have launched services and captured market share. FRiENDi and Virgin Mobile MEA are two notable MVNOs which operate in several markets and there are a number of domestic players as well.

Table Of Contents

Global Mobile Operators - Regional Leaders - Overview and Statistics
1. Global mobile market - trends and statistics
1.1 Analysis of the global mobile industry
1.1.1 Global mobile market analysis 2017
1.1.2 Can mobile operators afford a mobile-only strategy?
1.1.3 The spectrum issue
1.2 Key global mobile statistics and operators
1.2.1 Global mobile subscriptions
1.2.2 Global mobile broadband statistics
1.2.3 Financial insights
1.2.4 Mobile data traffic
1.2.5 Leading global carriers

2. Latin America mobile operators and MVNOs
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Statistical overview of operator subscribers
2.3 Brazil
2.3.1 Market analysis
2.3.2 Mobile statistics
2.4 Brazil MNOs
2.4.1 Vivo (Telefônica Brasil)
2.4.2 TIM Brasil
2.4.3 Claro Brazil
2.4.4 Oi
2.4.5 Nextel Brasil
2.4.6 CTBC/Algar Telecom
2.4.7 Sercomtel Celular
2.4.8 Unicel/Aeiou (defunct)
2.5 Brazil MVNOs

3. Asia mobile operators and MVNOs
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Market analysis
3.3 Market statistics
3.3.1 Top Asian Countries by mobile subscribers
3.3.2 China
3.3.3 India
3.3.4 Top Asian countries by mobile penetration
3.3.5 Top Asian mobile operators by subscribers

4. Pacific mobile operators and MVNOs
4.1 Australia
4.1.1 Market analysis
4.1.2 Subscriber statistics
4.1.3 Intensifying market competition
4.2 Fiji
4.2.1 Introduction
4.2.2 Market analysis
4.2.3 Mobile statistics
4.3 Fiji MNOs
4.4 Papua New Guinea
4.4.1 Introduction
4.4.2 Market analysis
4.4.3 Mobile statistics
4.5 Papua New Guinea MNOs

5. Africa mobile operators and MVNOs
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Market analysis
5.3 Mobile statistics
5.4 South Africa
5.4.1 Market analysis
5.4.2 Mobile statistics
5.5 South Africa MNOs
5.5.1 Vodacom South Africa
5.5.2 MTN South Africa
5.5.3 Cell C
5.5.4 Telkom Mobile (8ta)
5.6 South Africa MVNEs
5.7 South Africa MVNOs

6. North America mobile operators and MVNOs
6.1 USA
6.2 USA MNOs
6.2.1 Industry body
6.2.2 ATandT
6.2.3 Verizon Wireless
6.2.4 T-Mobile US
6.2.5 Sprint Corporation
6.3 USA MVNOs

7. Europe mobile operators and MVNOs
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Market analysis
7.2.1 Competition concerns central to MandA activity
7.2.2 Investment considerations
7.3 France
7.3.1 Market analysis
7.3.2 Mobile statistics
7.4 France MNOs
7.4.1 Orange
7.4.2 Network contracts
7.4.3 JV with Deutsche Telekom (DT)
7.4.4 SFR Group
7.4.5 Free Mobile
7.4.6 Bouygues Telecom
7.5 France MVNOs

8. Middle East mobile operators and MVNOs
8.1 Introduction
8.1.1 Market analysis
8.1.2 Mobile subscriber statistics
8.1.3 Middle East leading mobile operators by country
8.2 Bahrain
8.2.1 Market analysis
8.2.2 Mobile statistics
8.3 Bahrain MNOs
8.3.1 Batelco
8.3.2 Zain Bahrain
8.3.3 Viva Bahrain / STC Bahrain

List of Tables
Table 1 Global mobile subscriptions, annual change and unique subscribers 2009 - 2017
Table 2 Regional - mobile subscribers 2009 2015
Table 3 Global mobile broadband market share by technology 2015
Table 4 Global mobile broadband subscribers 2014 - 2017
Table 5 Regional mobile broadband penetration 2014 - 2016
Table 6 Regional mobile broadband active subscriptions 2014; 2015
Table 7 Top fifteen OECD countries by mobile broadband subscriptions Mid 2016
Table 8 Global mobile CAPEX 2014 - 2017
Table 9 Global telecoms CAPEX 2008 - 2017
Table 10 Global - mobile revenue 2014 - 2020
Table 11 Global - mobile data traffic 2000 - 2022
Table 12 Regional - mobile data traffic growth forecast 2014 - 2019
Table 13 Global top 20 mobile operators by connections and revenue Mid 2015
Table 14 Global - top 16 mobile parent carriers by subscribers 2014
Table 15 Latin America - major mobile operators subscribers 2010 2015
Table 16 Latin America - America Móvil subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 17 Latin America - Telefónica subscribers - 2010 - 2015
Table 18 Latin America - Telecom Italia subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 19 Latin America - Millicom International Cellular subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 20 Latin America - Digicel Group subscribers 2013 - 2015
Table 21 Brazil - historic - mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1997 - 2009
Table 22 Brazil - mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010- 2018
Table 23 Brazil - mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 2003 - 2016
Table 24 Evolution of mobile ARPU in Brazil major operators 2009 - 2016
Table 25 Brazil - mobile broadband subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 26 Brazil- average mobile broadband speed 2008 - 2016
Table 27 Brazil - mobile broadband accesses by major operator 2013 - 2016
Table 28 Brazil - mobile broadband accesses by minor operator 2013 - 2016
Table 29 Brazil -3G/mobile broadband market share by operator 2009 2016
Table 30 Brazil - mobile operators' market share 2002 - 2016
Table 31 LTE subscriber market share by operator 2014 2016
Table 32 Vivo mobile subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 33 Vivo/Telemig mobile subscribers (historic) 2002 - 2007
Table 34 Vivo mobile revenue (R$) 2010 - 2015
Table 35 Vivo financial data () 2013 - 2016
Table 36 TIM Brasil mobile financial data 2010 - 2016
Table 37 TIM Brasil mobile financial data () 2014 - 2016
Table 38 TIM Brasil mobile subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 39 Claro Brazil mobile revenue 2010 - 2016
Table 40 Claro Brazil mobile subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 41 Oi mobile revenue 2012 - 2016
Table 42 Oi mobile subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 43 Oi/Amazônia/BrT mobile subscribers 2002 - 2008 (historic)
Table 44 NII Holdings mobile revenue (R$) 2012 - 2015
Table 45 Nextel Brazil revenue ($) 2010 - 2016
Table 46 Nextel Brazil mobile subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 47 Algar Telecom mobile revenue 2009 - 2016
Table 48 Algar Telecom mobile subscribers 2003 - 2016
Table 49 Sercomtel mobile subscribers 2003 - 2016
Table 50 Brazil - MVNO subscribers 2012 - 2016
Table 51 Port Seguro mobile subscribers 2012 - 2016
Table 52 Datora mobile subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 53- Asia total mobile subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 54 Top fifteen countries in Asia by mobile subscribers 2011- 2016
Table 55 Top fifteen countries in Asia by mobile penetration - 2011 - 2016
Table 56 Asia - top mobile operators by subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 57 Australia - mobile subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2000 - 2017
Table 58 Australia - total mobile services market revenue and annual change 2010 2016
Table 59 Australia - mobile subscriber gains and losses by MNO 2009 2014
Table 60 - Fiji - mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 61 - Fiji - mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate 2008 - 2015
Table 62 Vodafone Fiji Limited revenue 2011; 2013; 2015
Table 63 Estimated Vodafone Fiji Limited ARPU 2008 - 2014
Table 64 - Vodafone Fiji Limited prepaid versus postpaid subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 65 Papua New Guinea -historic mobile subscriptions and penetration - 1997 - 2009
Table 66 Papua New Guinea - mobile subscriptions and penetration 2010 - 2017
Table 67 Papua New Guinea - active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2012 - 2017
Table 68 Digicel PNG financials 2013 - 2015
Table 69 Digicel PNG mobile subscribers 2013 - 2015
Table 70 Africa - active mobile subscribers in selected countries 2011 - 2016
Table 71 Africa - active mobile penetration in selected countries 2011 - 2016
Table 72 South Africa - mobile revenue by sector 2015
Table 73 South Africa - historic - mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 1999 - 2009
Table 74 South Africa - mobile subscribers and penetration rate in South Africa 2010 - 2017
Table 75 Vodacom South Africa mobile revenue 2010 - 2016
Table 76 Vodacom South Africa subscribers and market share 2002 - 2016
Table 77 Vodacom South Africa mobile data subscribers 2013 - 2016
Table 78 Vodacom South Africa key statistics 2014 - 2016
Table 79 MTN South Africa subscribers and market share 2002 - 2016
Table 80 MTN South Africa financial data 2012 - 2016
Table 81 MTN South Africa key statistics quarter ended June 2016
Table 82 Cell C mobile subscribers 2013 - 2015
Table 83 Telkom mobile subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 84 Telkom mobile financial data 2014 - 2016
Table 85 Telkom mobile ARPU 2014 - 2016
Table 86 Telkom fixed and mobile data traffic 2014 - 2016
Table 87 ATandT wireless financial data 2009 - 2016
Table 88 ATandT wireless subscribers 2002 - 2016
Table 89 Verizon wireless financial data by sector 2010 - 2016
Table 90 Verizon wireless subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 91 T-Mobile US wireless subscribers 2003 - 2016
Table 92 T-Mobile US own-branded subscribers 2003 - 2016
Table 93 T-Mobile US ARPU (, annualised) 2009 - 2016
Table 94 T-Mobile US ARPU ($, annualised) 2012 - 2016
Table 95 T-Mobile US financial data 2010 - 2016
Table 96 MetroPCS financial data 2007 - 2012
Table 97 MetroPCS subscribers 2007 - 2012
Table 98 Sprint financial data 2009 - 2016
Table 99 Sprint subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 100 Sprint blended ARPU 2010 - 2015
Table 101 Europe - incumbent MNOs' market share - 2015
Table 102 Europe - SIM penetration by country 2012 2016
Table 103 France - mobile sector investment 2007 - 2016
Table 104 France - mobile retail revenue 1998 - 2017
Table 105 France - Average monthly bill, ARPU - 2006 - 2016
Table 106 France - historic - mobile subscribers (national, old format incl. M2M) and penetration rate 1999 - 2014
Table 107 France - mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate 2013 - 2017
Table 108 France - mobile services traffic in minutes 1998 - 2016
Table 109 France - mobile voice traffic in minutes by type (quarterly) 2006 - 2016
Table 110 France - annual mobile voice traffic by type 2008 2015
Table 111 France - mobile operator market share 2005 - 2016
Table 112 France - prepaid and contract subscribers (old format national, incl. M2M) 2005 2014
Table 113 France - proportion of prepaid versus contract subscribers 1999 - 2016
Table 114 France - prepaid and contract subscribers (national, excl. M2M) 2011 2016
Table 115 Orange mobile subscribers (France) 2005 - 2016
Table 116 Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU (Q4) 2005 - 2016
Table 117 Orange mobile consumer revenue 2005 - 2016
Table 118 Orange mobile customer churn 2003 2016
Table 119 Orange mobile customer acquisition costs 2007 - 2016
Table 120 SFR mobile annualised ARPU 2005 - 2015
Table 121 SFR revenue (historic) 2004 - 2013
Table 122 SFR subscribers 2006 - 2016
Table 123 Free Mobile mobile subscribers 2012 - 2016
Table 124 Free Mobile mobile revenue 2012 - 2016
Table 125 Bouygues Telecom subscribers 2005 - 2016
Table 126 Bouygues Telecom mobile ARPU 2007 - 2016
Table 127 Bouygues Telecom financial data 2005 - 2016
Table 128 France - MNO and MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) 2005 - 2016
Table 129 France - MVNO market share (metropolitan) 2005 - 2016
Table 130 Middle East mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration by country 2014 - 2016
Table 131 Middle East - leading mobile operators by subscribers and country

List of Tables
Table 132 Bahrain - telecom sector revenue 2006 - 2014
Table 133 Bahrain - telecom sector revenue breakdown 2012 - 2014
Table 134 Historic Bahrain - mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
Table 135 Bahrain - mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 - 2016
Table 136 Mobile market revenue 2007 - 2014
Table 137 Mobile monthly ARPU 2008 - 2014
Table 138 Bahrain total prepaid mobile subscribers - 1999 Q1 2015
Table 139 Zain Bahrain prepaid subscribers - 2004 - 2014
Table 140 Batelco total group mobile subscribers 2005 Q2 2016
Table 141 Zain Bahrain revenue, EBITDA, CAPEX and ARPU - 2005 2015

List of Charts
Chart 1 Global mobile subscriptions 2012 - 2017
Chart 2 Evolution of Brazil's mobile subscriber base 2000 - 2018
Chart 3 Evolution of mobile ARPU in Brazil major operators 2009 2016
Chart 4 Australia - mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2005 - 2017
Chart 5 Australia - mobile subscriber gains and losses by MNO 2010 2016
Chart 6 France - Average monthly bill and ARPU - 2006 2016
Chart 7 France - mobile subscribers (national) and penetration rate 2011 2017
Chart 8 France - mobile operator market share 2005 2016
Chart 9 Orange mobile subscribers (France) 2005 2016

List of Charts
Chart 10 Orange blended, contract, prepaid ARPU 2005 2016

List of Charts
Chart 11 Orange mobile customer acquisition costs 2007 - 2016

List of Charts
Chart 12 SFR subscribers 2006 - 2016

List of Charts
Chart 13 Bouygues Telecom financial data 2005 2016

List of Charts
Chart 14 France - MNO, MVNO subscribers (metropolitan) 2005 - 2015

List of Charts
Chart 15 - Middle East - mobile subscribers by country 2014 - 2016

List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1 5G
Exhibit 2 Global content delivery ecosystem
Exhibit 3 Software Defined Networks
Exhibit 4 Subdivision of Brazil into regions and areas for mobile licensing
Exhibit 5 Vivo concessions
Exhibit 6 TIM Brasil concession awards for frequency bands A, B, D, E
Exhibit 7 Claro Brazil concessions
Exhibit 8 Oi concession awards for frequency bands A, D, E, M
Exhibit 9 VSAT connects remote Manus Islands
Exhibit 10 Mobile operators and technology used
Exhibit 11 France - operating MVNOs and network provider

Companies Mentioned
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