A new study by Wireless Intelligence has found that revenue from mobile services in Western Europe has grown faster than the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), suggesting the mobile sector has proven to be resilient to the general economic downturn. Total revenues generated by mobile operators in Western Europe reached €155 billion last year, the report says, a rise of 3.32 percent from 2006, and accounting for 1.5 percent of GDP. “In 2008 we expect to see a similar relatively healthy growth in mobile revenues,” said Joss Gillet, a senior analyst at Wireless Intelligence. The study, which looked at the 15 largest markets in Western Europe, said that growth was driven by non-voice revenues, while voice revenues remained under strong pressure.
The study found that the top five operator groups in Western Europe (Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Telefonica O2 and TIM) generated revenues of €106.6 billion, or 69 percent of the total revenues for the region. However, in markets such as Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria, the study found that mobile revenues decreased year-on-year, partly due to new European roaming regulations, domestic regulations, weakening ARPU, and a decline in effective voice price per minute. “Operators are now focusing on revenue stimulation and fighting churn through key competitive factors such as: price elasticity, network coverage, loyalty policy, quality of services, value added services and market segmentation, which includes MVNO development,” said Gillet.