Mature mobile markets like the U.S.,Western Europe, Japan and South Korea continue to generate the big dollars for the mobile industry, but the future growth is coming from new telecom economies: China, India, Brazil and the African continent. Thanks to a vast customer base, operators with operations in these countries are starting to dominate the top tier of the mobile world and change the telecom hierarchy.
Data collected by Wireless Intelligence — the research arm of GSMA, a trade organization — shows that at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, China Mobile was the largest mobile phone company in the world with 584 million connections, followed by Vodafone (s vod) with 353 million connections, America Movil (s amov) with 225 million connections, Telefonica Group (s tef) with 220.2 million connections, and Bharti Airtel Group with 199.6 million connections. Verizon Wireless (s VZ) had 102.2 million connections, while AT&T (s T) had 95.5 million connections. It’s likely just a matter of time before more of the upstarts overtake the established giants in terms of revenues as well.
Here are some articles from our archives that might provide context.
- Vodafone Buys Into India
- India’s Bharti AirTel to Enter Telecom’s Top Five
- Telecom’s Titanic Shift: How the Mighty Have Fallen
- China’s Mobile Data Gold Rush Begins
- India Will Have 150M 3G Connections by 2014