Feature Article

January 30, 2013

Global Telecom Industry Sees Lopsided Growth Between Wireless, Wireline

While the global telecommunications industry would appear to be a runaway growth industry, it hasn’t gone unaffected by the last few years’ lackluster economy. While certain subcategories of it – namely the smartphone and tablet sectors – have seen good growth, other parts of it, most notably the wireline sectors, have remained flat. 

This is according to a new market analysis report from The Insight Research Corporation, which found that spending for wireline services contracted in 2012, while spending on wireless services grew modestly. According to the study, global telecommunications services revenue will grow from $2.2 trillion in 2012 to $2.7 trillion in 2018 at a combined average growth rate of 3.8 percent.

The report, “2013 Telecommunications Industry Review: An Anthology of Market Facts and Forecasts," notes that we can expect more of the same in the future. Wireless subscriber growth, together with increased usage by existing customers, will push wireless revenue up 31 percent from current levels.

Wireline revenue, on the other hand, is expected to remain flat for the near future until the economy begins to improve.

So where is the extra-brisk growth in the telecom industry? In Ethernet, cloud and mobile solutions, according to the report. These sectors are expected to show double-digit annual percentage growth. 

In North America, wireless revenue will grow by 35 percent and wireline broadband revenue will grow by 19 percent over current levels.

"Telecommunications revenues are driven by several factors – economic conditions, household expansion, population, and disposable income – to name a few,” said Fran Caulfield, Research Director for Insight Research, in a statement. “Until these indicators strengthen we will continue to see modest improvements in growth areas, such as wireless data and IPTV, along with declines in mature services, such as voice and wireline data.”

The report found that telecommunications spending will remain just under three percent of U.S. GDP (and just over three percent globally) for the near future.

Edited by Braden Becker

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