The mobile industry is making a substantial contribution to the European economy, according to the latest research from the GSMA’s Mobile Observatory series.
The industry contributed EUR174 billion to GDP in Europe in 2010, equivalent to 1 percent of the European Economic Area’s total. EUR83 million in public funding also came from the industry which provided 370,000 Europeans with direct employment and 1.3 million with indirect employment.
If Europe can match the levels of the ICT investment seen in the US, the GSMA says the continent can add EUR760 billion to its GDP by 2020, 5 percent more than currently forecast.
"Given the right opportunities and environment, the mobile industry is expected to continue investing strongly in new technologies and new services. Support of future technologies, by operators, vendors and regulatory stakeholders such as the European Commission, are vital for future economic growth," said GSMA Director-General, Anne Bouverot.
Capital expenditure in the mobile industry was calculated at 12 percent of sales on average in 2010 making it one of the most capital-intensive industries. The investment demand of the industry is also higher than other fast-moving innovation-based industries, adding to the economic health and sustainability of supporting industries.
Europe has around 656 million mobile subscriptions held by 456 million people, 89 percent of the population. This gives a mobile penetration rate of 128 percent compared to Japan’s 100 percent and 104 percent in the US. Falling prices have boosted uptake with mobile prices in the 27 EU countries falling by an average of 11-13 percent per annum between 2006 and 2010.