Global mobile transformation unleashed

Monica Zlotogorski, TM Forum
Billing and OSS Asia

Emerging markets will lead the global economic recovery in 2010, with China and India likely to show the most obvious signs of upturn, but prospects for other emerging economies are also promising. Developed economies are expected to grow about 1.7% next year, while emerging markets will increase their GDP by 4.9%, according to a recent report by Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Research.

There are currently 28 emerging markets in the world, constituting approximately 80% of the global population and about 20% of the world's economies. With most consumers located in emerging markets, we simply can’t ignore them and the unique, innovative consumer trends we see coming out of these markets.

In the communications industry, companies have lagged the market’s recovery since March, according to Bank of America Securities-Merrill Lynch Research. But despite the fact that there were wide variations across markets, emerging economies will continue to develop at a pace surpassing developed economies and probably further influence the future of our industry, particularly in the mobile sector.

China's communications market is already the second largest telecommunications services market in Asia Pacific after Japan, according to Pyramid Research, and it will surpass Japan by 2014.

As we move toward a more customer-centric business model, we can’t ignore the power of 80% of the world’s population. These consumers buy products and services, love or hate brands, influence their peers and demand services from their providers in their own, particular way. As globalization forces continue to expand, these consumers can influence the wider “global village.” Service providers in emerging markets are preparing for the future. That is why they have continued to experience healthy growth in IT spending this year despite the global financial crisis.

The mobile revolution

As the world becomes more and more mobile, the global communications market is expected to recover in 2010, with mobile data being the major engine of growth. Global mobile penetration is estimated at 60% and will jump to 84% by 2013, led by growth in India, China and other emerging markets. China and India will add 829 million mobile subscribers in 2009-2013, representing 44% of the world's total net additions during that period, says Pyramid Research. Given this data, it’s clear that organic growth will come mostly from emerging markets.

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