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Global Cell Phone Growth Slowed During Q1

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Global revenue growth from mobile phone subscriptions has slowed, according to data released today by research firm Telegeography. The firm notes that the top 20 global service providers generated $251 billion during the first three months of 2009, which was only up 3 percent from the same period last year. Part of the slowed growth was related to market saturation, but Telegeography said it was also tied to the lousy economy, which depressed demand.

India and China, which together accounted for 48 percent of the global growth, were bright spots on the world stage. The U.S. and Canada saw only 2 percent growth, however the U.S. did add 1 million broadband subscribers, demonstrating how wireless data can offer some growth for a carrier in saturated markets. Worldwide broadband subscriber additions during the quarter came in at 14 million.

The top 10 telecom equipment vendors (Telegeography includes handset makers in the group), generated $59 billion in sales during the quarter, down 5 percent from the same period in 2008, and a 15 percent drop from the previous quarter. Huawei, Samsung, RIM (s rimm) and LG Electronics had respectable sales during the first quarter, while Nokia (s nok), Cisco, (s csco) Motorola (s mot) and Alcatel-Lucent (s alu) struggled. Meanwhile, Nortel (s not) was cut from the Top 10 entirely.


4 Responses to “Global Cell Phone Growth Slowed During Q1”

  1. Africa & Latin America are doing well with 13% and 6% respectively.

    Of the wireless operators I’ve been speaking to lately (outside the USA). Below are the biggest issues they all phase. Amazing whether it’s a small operator with 1.5 million subscribers of a larger one with 40 million.

    Order of importance
    1) Declining ARPU (minutes are completely commoditized. Need new revenue streams FAST)
    2) Churn – Currently in the 3% to 4% per month range (36% to 48% of their customer base)
    3) Higher customer acquisition costs (continues to climb). Prepaid is approx $50 & post paid is $125