Mobile broadband presents the single largest opportunity for operator revenue growth until 2016

Total global telecom operator revenue has exceeded $2tn in 2012 according to analysis published by Ovum. 60 per cent of that figure was generated by mobile operators and, although overall growth is expected to be minimal over the next five years, Ovum believes some segments will still have above-average growth over the period.

The firm believes that mobile broadband presents the largest opportunity for operators to grow revenue, and is expected to grow 19.2 per cent annually, generating $122.9bn in incremental revenue between 2013 and 2016.

Other segments with double-digit revenue growth over the next five years include public cloud, enterprise Ethernet, IPTV, and managed/hosted IP voice, Ovum said.

“The recovery from the 2009 recession has been weak, and the ongoing global fiscal crisis continues to present a risk to the telecom industry,” said John Lively, chief forecaster at Ovum.

“Over the next three to four years, both fixed and mobile operators will face the same fundamental challenge: to increase new sources of revenue fast enough to offset the decline in mature services.”

The firm added that, while revenue for infrastructure vendors will stay low due to minimal increases in operator revenue, vendors that position themselves in one or more high-potential product segments stand to grow faster than competitors. Ovum recommended that vendors step up their focus in areas such as converged packet optical, ROADMs, 40G/100G networking gear, carrier Wi-Fi, and network-related services.

Ovum also warned component makers to expect continued high volatility in market demand.

“This can be mitigated to some degree by forming close relationships with infrastructure vendors and jointly understanding the end customers’ needs and plans,” said Lively. “Plus, winning a share of 40G and 100G business will be essential to avoid being left behind by competitors.”

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