Why Mobile is Key to Europe's Economic Recovery
Europe’s rapid migration to 4G services and devices, which will account for more than half of all connections by 2020, is helping to stimulate a recovery in the continent’s mobile industry, according to a new GSMA report.
This trend is fuelling consumer demand for a new wave of innovative mobile services, helping European operators move towards a stabilisation of revenues and margins following several years of declines in one of the world’s most competitive mobile regions.
READ MORE: Half of Europe's Mobiles on 4G by 2020
The report also calls for a new era of partnership between the mobile industry and EU policymakers aimed at encouraging next-generation network investment and innovation, and delivering a dynamic digital single market.
Anne Bouverot, Director General of the GSMA, said: “There are encouraging signs that Europe’s mobile industry is beginning to recover as both operators and consumers begin to see the benefit from the billions of euros of investment in 4G networks over the last few years.
“Europe’s mobile operators are embracing new technologies and new business models, leading innovation in areas such as M2M, digital commerce, mobile identity and advanced network services.
“But this positive outlook for the industry remains fragile, especially in light of renewed concerns over the macro-economic situation in Europe. The industry is therefore looking forward to working with the new European Commission and Parliament to build a common agenda that enables a sustainable recovery and powers a world-leading digital economy and connected society.”
Europe is expected to have 431 million unique mobile subscribers by year-end, representing 79 percent of the region’s population – the highest penetration rate of any region worldwide.
Unique subscribers are forecast to rise to 454 million by 2020, an 82 percent penetration rate. The number of mobile connections, excluding M2M, currently stands at 688 million and is forecast to rise to 762 million by 2020.
Contributing to Europe’s Recovery
Europe’s mobile industry has seen significant revenue declines and falling profitability for several years, a result of competitive, regulatory and macro-economic pressures.
However, while revenue growth in Europe is still expected to be negative over the next 2-3 years, the financial outlook has shown signs of improvement in 2014, due to the positive impact from 4G deployments and rising mobile data usage, which has helped operators offset declines in legacy services.
The ability for operators to sustain investments in networks and services will be dependent on improvement in the industry’s financial outlook. Capital expenditure (capex) by European operators in the seven-year period between 2008 and 2014 will total €155 billion, but could be as high as €170 billion over the next six years (2015 to 2020) as operators continue to focus on adding network capacity and expanding 4G coverage.
The mobile industry is playing a central role in supporting economic activity and recovery in the region, contributing 3.1 per cent to Europe’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, equivalent to €433 billion4, including €105 billion generated directly by mobile operators. By 2020, it is estimated that the industry will generate a total economic value of €492 billion.
The sector provided direct employment to approximately 1.8 million people across Europe in 2013, and indirectly supported a further 600,000 jobs. It also made a contribution to public finances (via taxation) of approximately €74 billion in 2013, not including contributions made via spectrum auctions, which raised over €3.2 billion in Europe last year.
“Ongoing investment in networks and services, and particularly extending network coverage, will be vital in supporting Europe’s economic recovery and in delivering the world-class connectivity needed to prosper in an increasingly digital global economy,” added Bouverot. “Europe’s operators must have the commercial freedom to develop new business models, innovate at the network and service levels, and offer customised services that can attract investment and drive innovation and competition in the global marketplace.”
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.