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Emerging markets key to success in 2013

Pyramid Research has released a new report that attempts to identify the top trends in the global telecoms industry for the coming year. As well as identifying specific trends and technology areas, the report also looks at specific regions.

Starting with Africa and the Middle East, it says that we’ll see intensified M&A activity here in 2013. Smaller operators will find it increasingly hard to compete and raise funds, national incumbents will face difficulties raising capital, and international operators will face lower margins. The firm also believes that data card and dongle revenue will overtake SMS revenue for the first time in 2013, generating $7.6bn and contributing about 32 per cent of total mobile data sales.

In Asia-Pacific, the story is mainly about LTE, and Pyramid expects uptake to reach nearly 42m, which whilst only 1 per cent of total subscriptions in the region, it is more than one-third of global LTE subscriptions. Europe will also see much LTE activity, with its subscription base expected to double. It also predicts that Android phones will account for more than 50 per cent of all smartphone sales in Central & Eastern Europe and close to half of all market sales in Western Europe in 2013.

In North America, the US is predicted to add nearly as many prepaid customers as postpaid, and then overtake postpaid in 2014. The most notably reason for this, says Pyramid, is the impact of slower economic growth in the US market. In Latin America, the story shifts to DTH Pay-TV growth, with direct to home services set to overtake traditional cable TV numbers by 2017. However, legal restrictions will continue to hamper IPTV growth.

Daniel Amparan Managing Director of Pyramid Research, says that emerging markets will continue to be the bright spot in an uncertain and challenging global economic landscape:

“Economic growth in emerging markets is expected to be nearly quadruple the economic growth in developed markets. Telecom service revenue in emerging markets will increase five times faster than in developed markets. This trend will make mobile service revenue in emerging markets in 2015 larger than mobile service revenue in developed markets for the first time ever.”

He adds that nearly 90 per cent of the 2bn subscribers to come online in the next five years will reside in emerging markets. As such, exposure to emerging markets has become a critical success factor for telecoms businesses. On the flip side though, Amparan says 2013 will be a good year for firms based in developing nations:

“Emerging market-based players are now able to take advantage of financially challenged developed market assets to bring much needed capital, but also commercial innovation and expertise.”

To read more, and to discover what Pyramid regard as the top ten trends, registered users can download the full report here.

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