Q4-2017 Results for Broadcasting Distribution and the Retail Telecommunications Sectors
Fastest Growing Sectors
| +$157 M
7.1% revenue growth rate
| +1 M
3.3% subscriber growth rate
Fastest Declining Sector
|Long Distance||$221 M
2017 quarterly data, based on approximately 20 reporting entities whose combined revenues accounted for over 93% of all retail telecommunications revenues and which consists of the most recent eight quarters of data, shows that retail telecommunications revenues have increased by 3.3% over 2016 revenue levels. In comparison, the 2017 Communications Monitoring Report (CMR) shows that revenues grew 1.8% from 2015 to 2016, suggesting that overall telecommunications service revenues were strong in 2017Footnote 1.
The growth came exclusively from mobile and Internet services, while legacy wireline services such as local, long distance, and data and private line continue to report decreasing revenues and number of lines. Among the three services, long distance has clearly shown a much more pronounced decline than local and data and private line; this could be attributed to, among other things, the availability of unlimited long distance calling offered by mobile wireless carriers over the past few years.
Both mobile and Internet revenue growth continue to outpace subscriber growth, pointing to greater revenue per subscriber. Mobile and Internet revenues grew by 7.0% and 7.1%, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2017 (Q4 2017) over the same period in the previous year, while subscriptions grew by 3.3% and 2.7% respectively.
Facing pressure from technological substitution such as wireless services, video calling applications, and instant messaging, wireline voice revenues and lines continued to drop in Q4 2017, with local revenues shrinking by 7.1%, long distance by 16.6%, and local lines by 4.6%. Long distance revenue erosion averaged 17% for the last three quarters of 2017 when compared to the same quarters of 2016. This is significantly higher than the 11% long distance revenue erosion for the first quarter of 2017 versus the first quarter of 2016.
Data and private line growth continued to decline through most of 2017 compared to 2016, with the growth rate reaching -4.5% in Q4 2017, down from a minor increase of 1.4% in Q1 2017 when comparing corresponding quarters year over year.
The broadcasting distribution sector continues to exhibit an overall decrease in revenues and subscribers. In Q4 2017, broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs, i.e. cable, satellite and IPTVFootnote 2 service providers) reported revenue and subscriber decreases of 3.4% and 1.4%, respectively, when compared to the same quarter in 2016.
Consistent with the annual data published in the CMR, IPTV service providers are still reporting growth in both revenues and subscribers, while cable and satellite providers are experiencing declines.
Purpose and methodology:
The main objective of reporting quarterly survey results is to provide industry participants, policy makers, stakeholders, etc. a timely illustration of the retail telecommunications industry as a whole, including BDU services. The industry overview represents approximately 20 reporting entities whose combined revenues accounted for over 93% of all retail telecommunications revenues and consists of the eight most recent quarters of data.
Some of the metrics that are highlighted are overall retail telecommunications revenues, revenues by telecommunication sectors, BDU revenues, lines and subscribers, and growth rates. In addition to this data, analysis on specific sectors, industry trends, and other relevant information is presented.
All underlying data found in the charts can be found on Open Data, linked under each graph.
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