09 December, 2015

Press Release: IDATE & ETNO unveil new Annual Economic Report on the European telecoms sector

EU telcos: 4G subscribers to reach 135mln this year, revenue decline decelerates

ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, has presented today its Annual Economic Report, prepared by the digital economy think-tank IDATE.

The report describes the state of the art of the European telecoms sector and includes consolidated figures from 2014, as well as projections for 2015 and the coming years.

Revenue decline decelerates

The decline of European telecom service revenue growth has decelerated this year to -1.1% (as opposed to last year’s -3%). In addition, IDATE confirmed that it expects revenue growth to turn positive in 2016 (+0.1%). This shift to the positive camp should be confirmed in the coming years, with revenue growth expected to reach a +1.5% in the period 2018-2019.

Demand for mobile data services will play an important role in this context. The share of mobile revenue coming from data continues to increase (48.2% in 2015) and is expected to count for more than half of such revenues by 2016 (50.5%).

The Average Revenue per User (ARPU) continued to shrink in both fixed and mobile markets. In the EU-28, mobile ARPU is now €13, while fixed broadband ARPU is €23.7.

4G to surpass fixed broadband in 2016

As European consumers embrace 4G, LTE subscribers are expected to reach the 135 million mark by the end of this year. At this pace, IDATE expects that LTE take-up will surpass fixed broadband already in 2016.

ETNO members out-invested peers in the EU, but global investment gap remains

In 2014, CapEx returned to a slight positive and grew 1%, amounting to a total of €47bn. This is an improvement with respect to 2013, when European CapEx has contracted of 0.2%. However, the gap with the United States remains wide, with US telcos investment growing 4.4% with respect to the previous year.

ETNO members continue to lead in the European industry with €26.6bn of investment in 2014. The remaining part (€20.4bn) has been deployed by cable companies and other telecom operators. ETNO members have invested €15.4bn in fixed and €11.2bn in mobile networks respectively.

M2M & cloud, new services are on a growth path

IDATE estimates that the number of cellular M2M modules in the EU-28 will rise from just under 60 million units to 139 million in 2018. By the end of the period, M2M will account for 3% of total mobile revenues.

A similar growth path will concern cloud. Telcos’ enterprise cloud revenues are forecast to virtually quadruple to €21.3bnn between 2014 and 2018.

Steven Tas, ETNO’s Executive Chairman, commented: “We need to trigger a new race towards broadband investment. With market outlook gradually improving, the upcoming Telecoms Framework reform can really make the difference in igniting a new season of network deployment”.


The full Annual Economic Report can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact: Alessandro Gropelli, Head of Communications & Media – ETNO, gropelli@etno.eu, +32 (0) 476 941839

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