Telecom sector showing signs of recovery: analysts

Dylan Bushell-Embling
11 Aug 2009

The financial results of the world's top telecom companies have given cause for “cautious optimism,” as they show the first signs of a market recovery, according to TeleGeographyresearch.

The top 15 telecom service providers by revenue saw their combined turnover climb a mere fraction of a percent - well below historical trends, but up 3% relative to Q2 2008, the researchers said.

The results show “that the market is not totally impervious to recessionary pressure,” TeleGeography said, but the analysts expect the growth rate to pick up over the remainder of this year.

All three of the Japanese operators in the top 15 dropped a place, due to exchange rate movements and the unusually seasonal nature of Japan's telecom market. NTT DoCoMo remains the world's third largest operator, posting revenue of $25.7 billion.

With $16.7 billion in revenue, China Mobile is the second largest Asian operator, scoring 7th on the top 15 list. AT&T is the largest in the world, with revenue of $30.7 billion

The top ten telecom vendors meanwhile saw their revenue climb 4% compared to Q1, reaching a combined $63 billion. This is compared to a 5% growth rate between Q1 and Q2 of 2008.

"Quarterly revenues are still 6% down from a year ago, giving a clear indication that the whole market has fallen, but given the depth of the global recession, the numbers could have been a lot worse," TeleGeography said.

The eight largest all saw revenue growth, with LG performing particularly well. It jumped two places to number eight in the ranking, swapping places with Japan's NEC.

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