Mobile services take-up rises in the BRICs

21 December 2009

LONDON: Take-up of mobile services in Brazil, Russia, India and China grew by an average of 66% between 2004 and 2008, compared to a rise of 3% in the more mature UK sector.

Mobile revenues now outstrip those from fixed line services in each of these nations, collectively known as the BRICs, according to data collated by Ofcom, the UK communications regulator.

The growth in take-up – led by rises of 113% and 109% in India and China respectively – underlines the interest of multinational handset makers and operators in marketing to developing economies.

Mobile is also several times larger than broadband in both penetration and revenue in these markets, with Brazil being the last BRIC in which mobile revenues overtook those from fixed line services.

Annual mobile revenues in the Latin American country grew by 68% between 2004 and 2008, to a total of £13.1 billion ($21bn; €14.7bn), ahead of the country's £12.9bn a year fixed line sector.

However Brazil's is only the second biggest BRIC mobile market. Worth £36.6bn in 2008, China's mobile sector is comfortably the largest, with Russia on £11.8bn, and India, on £6.9bn.

But average monthly revenues per mobile user declined year-on-year in 2008 in all the BRICs, bar Russia. This trend may reflect increased price competition between service providers as well as tightening consumer spending.

Data sourced from Ofcom; additional content by Warc staff