February 11, 2008 According to new research from Analysys, the average volume of mobile voice calls will exceed that of traditional fixed networks in Western Europe as a whole for the first time as soon as the second quarter of 2008.
Analysys Research’s Telecoms Market Matrix shows that the proportion of call minutes made from mobiles has increased by 1.4 percentage points each quarter over the last year. The figures take into account usage in Western Europe as a whole, but the country by country predictions vary. In the UK, where patterns of consumption are close to the European average, mobile voice usage should overtake fixed voice in the second quarter of 2008. In France, mobile voice usage has already surpassed that of fixed voice, and keeps growing despite the widespread availability of practically free voice over broadband. Italy is lagging behind France and the UK with mobile voice not expected to overtake fixed voice until the first quarter of 2009. And Germany falls even further behind with an expectation of about two years to reach this phenomenon if it maintains current rates of substitution.
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According the figures, Portugal was the first country in which mobile overtook fixed despite it having the lowest voice consumption in Western Europe. Sweden on the other hand, has one of the highest and is predicted to be among the last to change. “Consumers have relatively constant budgets for voice, and so fixed voice volumes basically reflect the unaffordability of mobile voice. The trick for mobile operators has been to translate stable demand into an affordable proposition – once mobile can meet demand affordably, any kind of competitive pricing for voice on fixed or broadband is largely irrelevant,” explains Rupert Wood, Principal Analyst at Analysys Research.
Analysys is a global advisor on telecoms, IT and media.