Worldwide spending on telecom and pay TV services will increase by 0.6% in 2018 in constant dollar terms to reach US$1.65 trillion, according to the IDC Worldwide Telecom Services Database.
Although IDC reported a “notable decrease in the growth rate” compared to the 1.2% recorded in 2017, it attributed this to new accounting rules that require mobile operators to separate handset sales and service revenues and predicted the growth rate will recover “as soon as next year”.
Mobile is expected to remain the largest market segment. Its share is tipped to reach 52% of the total telecom and pay TV services market in 2018, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.2% driven by increased mobile data usage and machine-to-machine applications.
IDC said it expects the fixed data services segment to represent 22% of total spending in 2018 and to grow at a 4% CAGR through 2022, largely driven by the need for higher bandwidth services. Spending on fixed voice services, however, is expected to decline at a -5% CAGR over the forecast period and represent less than 9% of the total market by 2022.
The Americas are expected to remain the largest services market with revenues of US$624 billion in 2018, followed by Asia Pacific with revenues of US$541 billion and then Europe, the Middle East and Africa with revenues of US$483 billion.
“Developed and mature markets will only show marginal gains now, driven by technology migration and bandwidth needs,” said Eric Owen, group vice president, EMEA telecommunications and networking.
“Most operators are now looking to invest in 5G and are struggling with the return on investment given the mature nature of the markets. Success will demand innovative and agile thinking from the operators coupled with some help from regulators in highly competitive markets such as Europe.”