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    Kathryn McFarland, Xerfi Canal Telecommunications Groups Europe

    Xerfi Canal

    par Xerfi Canal

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    Xerfi Global has recently published a study on Telecom Operators in Europe, which decrypts a sector that seems to be in the doldrums, at least on its home turf. While the global market has got back on its feet after the crisis and has been growing at a slow but steady rate of 3% per annum since 2010, the European market has been on a downward slide for the last five years. In 2008, the industry generated over 287 bn euros in revenues. In 2013, this figure slumped to around 264 bn euros. This drop can be put down to the generally challenging economic conditions that have been affecting the Old Continent but is also the consequence of a high level of market saturation, measures taken by European legislators to cap telecom service prices and unpleasantly heated rivalry. Indeed, market saturation is a major issue in the region: mobile phone subscriptions have exceeded 100% in Europe. There were around 127 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in 2013. What is more, smartphone penetration rates are the highest worldwide, at around 50%, leaving little room for volume growth. Growth through pricing is also hampered as European legislators have implemented a series of measures to cap the price of telecom services within the EU both at retail and wholesale level. For example, the maximum permitted roaming charge for making a call has been cut from €0.43 in 2009 to €0.24 in 2013, which has of course done little favours for telecom companies' profits. [...]