Worldwide telecommunications industry revenue is set to reach $2.1 trillion this year according to market research firm Insight Research Corp. Despite the rocky global economy, industry revenue will grow further at an average annual rate of 5.3% to $2.7 trillion in 2017. The Asian region is seen as a key market and wireless revenue there is expected to grow 64%. Mobile broadband services and the transition from 3G to 4G will also be key growth drivers
There were approximately 6.8 billion wireless service subscriptions worldwide as of mid-2013, up from 5.9 billion in November 2011, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). This is immense growth from about 4 billion at the end of 2008 and 1.41 billion in 2003. However, the actual number of individuals holding those subscriptions is somewhat less, at approximately 5.4 billion as many people have more than one subscription. This would indicate 76 people having subscriptions per 100 populations.
The base of global wireless subscribers has grown rapidly, as low-cost providers are making service prices low enough to be affordable for vast numbers of people in emerging nations. Inexpensive cell phones are now indispensable to consumers from Haiti to Africa to New Guinea. Handsets can be bought for $10 to $20 in such markets, and they can be topped-off with a segment of prepaid minutes for as little as 50 cents.
The ITU estimates global landlines at 1.17 billion as of mid-2013, down from 1.21 billion in 2009. This is only 16.5 landlines per 100 global population.
India is the world’s second-largest telecommunications market. The telecom infrastructure in India is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent during the period 2008–2015 to reach 571,000 towers in 2015.
The mobile phone industry in India is likely to contribute US$ 400 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and has the potential to generate about 4.1 million additional jobs by 2020, as per Ms Anne Bouverot, Director General, Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA). The mobile ecosystem generated approximately 5.3 per cent of the GDP for India, and directly supported 730,000 jobs in 2012, according to the report titled ‘Mobile Economy India 2013’ released by GSMA in association with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
The Government intends to make India a teleport hub, enabling it to become an up-linking/down-linking centre. The initiative is expected to facilitate foreign investments, better technology and sustainable employment opportunities in the country. The Government has recently given its nod to 74 per cent of FDI in DTH, IPTV, and mobile TV.