A new study by Wireless Intelligence has identified the top 20 world’s largest cell phone operators, in terms of revenue generated.
Mature markets such as Western Europe, USA, Japan and South Korea continue to generate the most revenue for mobile operator groups, according to a new Wireless Intelligence operator ranking study. European-based operator groups Vodafone, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom all made the top ten, as did the four nationwide US operators.
China Mobile was ranked number one in the list with revenue of US$19.9 billion in Q4 2010, a rise of 6 percent from a year ago. Vodafone Group was ranked second both in terms of revenue and connections, with the UK-based group’s revenue rising by 1.6 percent to US$15.2 billion in Q4. Verizon Wireless ranked third on the list, turning over quarterly revenue of US$14.2 billion, up 4.8 percent year-on-year. AT&T is ranked fourth with revenues of US$13.8 billion, rising 9.6 percent year-on-year.
Fifth-placed Telefonica, with revenues of US$12.2 billion, was one of the few operator groups to benefit from a significant revenue boost from its emerging markets, with its buy-out of Brazil’s Vivo last year largely responsible for a 32.9 percent increase in revenue in Q4. On an organic basis (with the Vivo contribution excluded), the Spanish-based group would have increased revenue by 3.2 percent year-on-year.
Large operator groups that are not present in these key mature markets did not rank highly in terms of revenue even though they often serve many more customers. For example, Latin America-focused America Movil is the third-largest operator group in terms of total connections (225,000,000 cell phone subscribers) but only ranked number nine in terms of revenue.
|#||Operator Group||Mobile Revenue
(US$ billion) 1
Revenue (%) 2
|5||Telefónica Group 3||12.2||29.5||220.2|
|6||NTT DOCOMO Group||11.5||-1.6||57.2|
|7||Deutsche Telekom Group||9.3||-6.9||133.2|
|8||France Telecom Group||8.1||5.2||110.2|
|9||América Móvil Group 4||7.2||-||225.0|
|10||Sprint (Sprint Nextel)||6.5||3.0||49.9|
|12||Telecom Italia Group||4.9||2.0||82.0|
|14||MTN Group 5||3.9||5.9||111.1|
|17||Bharti Airtel Group||2.9||63.6||199.6|
Mobile operator group global ranking by revenue, Q4 2010
Source: Wireless Intelligence, company data