Telecoms & media revenues to hit $1.5tr in 2021

Mike Roberts/Ovum
26 Aug 2016

The global telecoms and media market will generate $1.58 trillion in revenues in 2021 from 11.96 billion connections, according to Ovum’s first set of integrated forecasts covering the global mobile, fixed, and pay-TV markets.

However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg of Ovum’s extensive new forecasts, which detail how the mobile, fixed, and pay-TV markets will fare in every major country in the world over the next five years. The forecasts are the result of a major collaboration across Ovum, with contributions from more than 50 analysts and forecasters in every major region of the world.

The forecasts find that the global mobile market will dominate the telecoms and media segment with revenues of $933 billion and 9 billion connections in 2021. However, fixed broadband will be the fastest-growing market, with revenues growing at a CAGR of 3.02% from 2016 to 2021, ahead of pay TV at 2.51% and mobile at 1.91%. Global broadband will generate $288 billion in revenues in 2021, ahead of pay TV with $239 billion and fixed voice with $122 billion.

Looking at traditional segments in isolation is no longer enough because convergence is a reality, bundling is mainstream, and end users increasingly expect access to all their content and services via all types of devices including smartphones, TVs, or PCs. For service providers, this means that it’s no longer enough to view market segments in isolation. They increasingly need to understand the entire telecoms & media market to succeed in any part of it.

While service providers have to understand the relationships between market segments, they also have to focus on their most important geographic markets, which is why Ovum has produced detailed forecasts on the fixed, mobile, and pay-TV markets in every major country in the world. Below are a few highlights of the country- and region-level forecasts:

  • The US will be the world’s largest telecoms & media market by revenues throughout the forecast period, with revenues of $402 billion in 2021 generated from 805 million connections. US revenues will be 25% of the global total in 2021, compared to US connections, which will be 7% of the global total.
  • China will be the top market for connections in 2021 with 2.4 billion connections, representing 20% of the global total, and the second-largest market in terms of revenues, with revenues of $220 billion in 2021.
  • After the US and China, the other top ten telecoms & media markets by revenues in 2021 will be Japan, India, UK, Germany, France, Brazil, Canada, and South Korea.
  • The world’s top ten markets ranked by revenue growth from 2016 to 2021 will be concentrated in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. The markets in order of revenue CAGR are Myanmar, India, Kenya, Indonesia, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Iran, Uganda, and Pakistan.
  • The relative scale and importance of the mobile, fixed broadband, and pay-TV markets varies hugely by country and region. For example, in 2021, the mobile market will generate 87% of total telecoms & media revenues in Africa and 70% in the Middle East, compared to 50% in North America and 49% in Western Europe.

Ovum’s integrated forecasts are available on the Knowledge Center, and Ovum analysts will be adding value to them through a series of Market Outlook reports on major market segments, regions, and countries.

Mike Roberts is a practice leader for North and South America at Ovum. For more information, visit

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