Operator business services: worldwide forecast 2018–2023

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The most-significant growth in operator business revenue will occur in emerging Asia–Pacific and among medium and large enterprises.Implications for operators, predicts Analysys Mason.

Operators’ business services revenue will rise very gradually, fuelled by increased demand for higher-bandwidth connectivity, ICT services and IoT connectivity.


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Broadband will account for a significant part of operators’ revenue growth from small enterprises; ICT services and IoT connectivity are more important for large enterprises. Emerging markets will continue to deliver significant business revenue growth for operators.

Mobile services revenue from handsets will remain fairly flat, while operator revenue is being buoyed by growth in connectivity services for IoT deployments. Mobile revenue growth varies considerably between regions, with emerging economies typically outperforming more-developed markets.

Fixed revenue continues to decline worldwide despite growth in the number of fixed broadband connections. Fixed services revenue is forecast to grow only in emerging markets in APAC and in MENA, driven by significant increases in fixed broadband penetration.

High-bandwidth services for both broadband and dedicated connections will continue to grow in importance. The addressable market for other business services will continue to grow as enterprises adopt further cloud-based business solutions. Operator revenue from ICT services forms a small but rapidly growing share of operators’ overall business revenue.

Western Europe is the largest contributor to operator revenue for ICT services, but growth is significant in all regions. The broader enterprise IT and managed services market reaches beyond those services addressed by operators and is expected to grow to USD2.5 trillion by 2023.

North America: operator revenue from growing adoption of data and ICT services will not entirely offset losses from legacy voice services. Operators’ retail revenue from businesses is dominated by large enterprises, but growth is expected in the micro business segment.

Western Europe: operator revenue from legacy services is declining, but ICT services will drive revenue growth in the overall business market. Revenue growth will be focused on medium and large enterprises, driven by increasing IoT deployments and adoption of ICT services.

Developed Asia–Pacific: growth in operator revenue will be driven by increasing mobile data usage and adoption of ICT services. The use of mobile and ICT services by all business sizes will grow, but a decline in the support of legacy voice will affect smaller enterprises.

Emerging Asia–Pacific: use of mobile data continues to dominate business markets, with new revenue growth driven by adoption of ICT services. Micro enterprises account for a large share of operators’ overall revenue, but growth will be strongest from larger enterprises.

Latin America: operator revenue growth is driven by increased adoption of fixed and mobile data services, which also supports adoption of ICT services. Data service revenue will increase from businesses of all sizes, with larger enterprises also deploying IoT and adopting ICT services.

Central and Eastern Europe: overall operator business revenue is growing despite a decline in revenue from legacy voice services. Operators’ revenue growth is expected from all segments as connectivity penetration increases alongside adoption of ICT services.

Middle East and North Africa: gradually increasing competition between operators and availability of public cloud services will lead to steady revenue growth. Micro enterprises deliver a significant share of operator revenue, but growth will be focused on larger enterprises.

Sub-Saharan Africa: operator business revenue will gradually rise as service availability and affordability increases. Basic data connectivity is key to operators’ revenue growth for all segments, although larger enterprises will also adopt IoT and ICT services.

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