Mobile revenues are 2% of global GDP

Updated: 
Mobile phoneRevenue generated by the mobile industry will bring in $1.3 trillion this year, which will make up 2% of the entire global gross domestic product. That's according to research by industry analyst Chetan Sharma which also looks at broader trends in the industry.

Sharma says global subscriptions will hit 6bn by the end of this year, with India and China boasting one billion mobile subscribers each. The total revenues from mobile will hit $1.3 trillion, with the top 10 operators controlling 43% of that market.

Smart phones and tablets

As more people get smart phones and tablets, demand for mobile data is rising by between four and six times a year. But the price for data is declining, we're buying more at lower prices per unit. This presents carriers with a challenge if they are to maintain margins.

The UK market analysis throws up an interesting picture. The country doesn't even make the top 10 in terms of numbers of mobile subscribers, but comes seventh in terms of mobile revenue and fourth by data revenue. (Mobile revenue is the total figure including voice minutes).

Other trends identified in the report are;
  • Mobile data traffic will make up 95% of total global mobile traffic by 2015
  • Non-messaging data now makes up 53% of global mobile data revenue
  • There will be over 1bn mobile broadband connections by the end of this year
  • Mobile devices are exceeding traditional computers in unit sales and revenue.
Sharma also identifies a couple of trends which should raise concerns, too. They centre around market consolidation and concentration of ownership, with the top three players holding 85% or the market and the top 20 controlling one third of the overall mobile patent pool. "Regulators will have to be more prudent and proactive about managing competitiveness and growth," he says.

Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook are the most important revenue-generating mobile platforms but, says Sharma, '"there will be more changes in the next 10 years than in the previous 100", and "value chains will keep disrupting every 12/24 months" as new players and business models emerge.

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