Global Mobile Telecommunications Industry


To gain an understanding of the mobile industry in Europe, the US and South Africa / Emerging Markets. The areas to focus on include: the industry size, key types of services offered (e.g. "MVNO"), industry drivers, mobile usage and consumption, the largest industry players, where the industry is moving to/outlook.

Early Findings


Industry size

  • At the end of 2017, the mobile industry in Europe was worth €143 billion and is expected to reach €144 billion at the end of 2025 at a CAGR of 0.1%. This indicates that at the end of 2019, the mobile industry will be worth approximately €143.3 billion (€143 billion *1.001^2).

Largest/key players

Key Services

  • Mobile operators in Europe have invested heavily in 4G networks over the past years. As of 2017, 4G services covered 97% of the population and is estimated to increase to 98% in 2025.
  • LTE Advanced Pro is the latest standard (2018 findings) in Europe. Over the past 3 years, 17 LTE Advanced Pro networks have been launched in the region.
  • Voice-over LTE (VoLTE) rollouts are in progress with live deployments in 25 countries.
  • According to a 2018 report by Billrun, MNVOs are most popular in Europe and are quickly gaining market share in other parts of the world. There were 599 MVNOs in the region in 2015.
  • Europe's mobile operators are contributing to the development of the IoT market with commercial launches of LPWA (licensed low power wide area) across the region.

Mobile usage and consumption

  • According to GSMA, there were 465 million mobile subscribers (85% of the population) in Europe at the end of 2017. Country-specific mobile subscription rates are available here.
  • The total addressable market for mobile operators is approaching saturation and the larger markets such as France and the UK account for the majority of new unique subscribers.
  • At the end of 2017, there were 285 million 4G connections accounting for 42% of total connections in Europe. 4G has now overtaken 3G as the leading mobile technology in the region.
  • The European Commission expects 5G to be commercially available in at least one major city in each EU country by 2020. It is estimated that there will be 203 million 5G connections by 2025.

Proposed next steps:

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