Invest if you want to overcome the crisis, mobile operators tell the EU

tlBy matching US levels of ICT investment, European states could add up to €760 billion to their collective GDP by 2020, which represents a five per cent increase over forecasts, mobile operators’ association GSMA says.

“The mobile industry is one of the most capital-intensive industries, with capital expenditures representing 12 per cent of sales on average in 2010. The mobile industry’s investment demand is considerably higher than for other fast-moving, innovation-based industries such as pharmaceuticals, telecoms equipment, semiconductor, software and internet services and adds to the economic health and sustainability of supporting industries.”

The GSMA this week released the European edition of its Mobile Observatory series, which provides a snapshot of the latest statistics and market developments, as well as a reference point for interested stakeholders in the mobile industry, including policy makers and regulators.

GSMA director general Anne Bouverot commented:

“The mobile industry has transformed the way in which we live, work and play […] The Observatory’s findings show that the mobile industry is a critical business sector in Europe; in just twenty years, the mobile industry has grown to become comparable in size to aerospace and larger than pharmaceuticals, with total revenues amounting to €174 billion in 2010 and creating an estimated 1.7 million jobs.”

Mobile is increasing the accessibility of voice and data communication services for Europeans due to lower up-front and recurring monthly costs compared to fixed line communications. The mobile industry also makes a very substantial contribution to the European economy including:

  • Mobile operator GDP contribution of approximately €174 billion (1% of total European Economic Area GDP);
  • Contribution to public funding amounting to approximately €83 billion, of which €65 billion from mobile operators directly; and
  • Direct employment of 370,000 Europeans and induced employment of 1.3 million more.

Mobile services are ubiquitously available, with a population coverage rate of nearly 100 per cent and a mobile penetration rate of 128 per cent in Europe (versus 100 per cent in Japan and 104 per cent in the United States). This represents 656 million individual subscriptions (measured as active SIM cards) held by an estimated 456 million Europeans (89 per cent of the population), many of whom have more than one subscription.

Mobile Broadband is forecast to continue growing at over 90 per cent for the next five years. The explosion in mobile data that Europe is witnessing will continue to be driven by investment and innovation from players across the mobile ecosystem.

* Data was compiled by GSMA, which unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.

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