Spending on telecom services and pay-TV will reach $1.63 trillion worldwide in 2019, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Telecom Services Database.
IDC expects this figure to reach $1.65 trillion billion in 2020, representing an increase of 0.9%.
Despite the overall lack of growth, some areas of the sector have seen a moderate increase and IDC is optimistic about 5G’s impact.
Winners and losers
Mobile remains the largest segment of the market, accounting for 52.8% of the total in 2019. The mobile market is set to post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3% over the 2019-2023 period, driven by the growth in mobile data usage and M2M applications, which is offsetting declines in spending on mobile voice and messaging services, IDC said.
Fixed data service spending represents 21.7% of the total market in 2019, with an expected CAGR of 3.3%, driven by the need for higher bandwidth services.
Spending on fixed voice services will post a CAGR of negative 4.8% over the forecast period and will represent only 8.5% of the total market by 2023. Rapidly declining TDM (time-division multiplexing) voice revenues are not being offset by the increase in IP voice, according to the analysis.
On a geographical basis, the Americas was the largest services market, with revenues of $630 billion in 2019, driven by the large North American sector. Asia Pacific was the second-largest region, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The markets with the fastest year-on-year growth in 2019 were EMEA, driven mainly by emerging markets, followed by the Americas.
One billion 5G subs by 2023
IDC also forecasts that the number of mobile 5G subscriptions will surpass 1 billion by 2023.
“By introducing extremely high speeds and ultra-reliable low latency, 5G will create the infrastructural foundation for a smarter and even more connected world," says Kresimir Alic, research director with IDC's Worldwide Telecom Services.
He added, "It will also generate new opportunities for telecom services operators. More than ever before, these companies will be expected to create, innovate and educate — becoming true leaders of the global digital revolution."