What 2012 will mean for the telecoms industry

As 2011 draws to a close, Telecoms.com takes a look forward at 2012 to see what to expect from the industry during the year ahead.

Dawinderpal Sahota

December 23, 2011

3 Min Read
What 2012 will mean for the telecoms industry
Telecoms.com brings you forecasts and predictions for 2012

As 2011 draws to a close, Telecoms.com examines the trends that are defining the industry to see how industry players can best capitalise on the opportunities that will present themselves in the year ahead.

Smartphones – It’ll come as no surprise to anyone in the industry to hear that smartphones sales are expected to continue growing next year.  Statistics from Informa Telecoms & Media reveal that the number of total smartphones sold globally are forecasted to increase from 342.4m in 2011 to 439.1m in 2012.

Google is expected to be victorious in the smartphone market over the year, as it will see 142.59m Android handsets sold in 2012, up from the 94.26m sold this year, according to Informa’s figures. This could be a landmark year for the company, as its Android OS could even surpass sales of Symbian handsets, which are expected to reach 137.26m in 2012. Sales of Apple’s iPhone range, meanwhile, are forecasted to grow from 46.1m units to 52m units globally.

LTE – 2012 will be the year LTE takes off as LTE subscriptions globally are expected to rise from 6.5m to 22.9m over the course of the year.  The two regions that will spearhead the LTE movement will be Asia-Pacific and North America. The number of LTE subscribers in Asia Pacific are expected to grow from 1.6m to 6.9m, while in North America, the figure will reach 10.1m  up from 3.5m, according to the analyst.

IPTV – The popularity of IPTV is expected to continue growing steadily, says Informa. The market is expected to rise from 35.8m subscribers to 44m. Asia-Pacific and Western Europe will be most responsible for this growth, with numbers of IPTV service customers rising from 9.6m to 12.4m in Asia-Pacific and 12.4m to 14.4m in Western Europe. One factor that could disrupt the market is the long-anticipated launch of Apple TV, which is due next year. The launch could spur growth of IPTV if it has anywhere near a similar impact of what the iPhone made on the smartphone industry when that first launched.

Mobile users – 2012 will see more people in developed nations gaining access to mobile phones. India will surpass China to become the world’s largest mobile market in terms of subscriptions, it is forecasted, as it will have added roughly 200m mobile subscriptions throughout 2011. India will also see nearly 590m access lines added to its fixed and mobile networks over the next five years, according to data from Pyramid Research, compared with China’s 535m. Meanwhile, global fixed line broadband subscriptions are predicted to reach 651m. In 2011, that figure stood at 576.8m.

Mobile Banking – Mobile Banking is a hot trend and revenues are set to almost double globally, from $1560.3m to $2880.4m in 2012, according to Informa. This will be spurred by a rise in remote payments globally, which are expected to rise from $644.8m to $1088.8m and the most growth will be seen in the use of mobile international funds transfer services, which is forecast to grow in revenues from $154.9m to $501.3m.

Revenues from mobile banking are set to almost double in many markets across the world, There will be almost a 150 per cent increase in Latin America, where it will grow from $36.51m to $84.27m and revenues from mobile banking will hit $1,486.7m from $890.9m in the Asia Pacific region.

Location-based services – Mobile location-based services are also set to hit new heights, and will generate almost $4,710.8m, up from $3,221.1m in 2011, according to Informa’s expectations.  Personal navigation services will account for $1,917.6m, while enterprise location-based services will drum up $1,655.1m. And mobile social networking will continue to grow. Informa expects the number of mobile social networking users to increase from 316.8m in 2011 to 476.3m in 2012, 218.5m of whom will be from Asia-Pacific.

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