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Mobile Phone Services Revenue Hits Peak

Half of the mobile operators in Western Europe recorded annual falls in voice revenues in the first quarter of 2007, as revenue growth in the region as a whole stalls.

According to the new Strategy Analytics report entitled "Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking, Q1 2007," revenues per minute from wireless voice fell 12 percent last quarter as regulatory pressure and competition continue to impact growth.

This Strategy Analytics quarterly report provides a health check for the wireless operator community, tracking the operational and financial performance of 125 individual operators, accounting for 75 percent of the world's cellular users.

The report found that voice revenues fell by a massive 9 percent at Vodafone Germany, with operators in many other West European markets experiencing more modest declines. Operators in Spain performed best in the region, with voice revenue growth ranging from 6 percent at Orange to 11 percent at Vodafone.

"Mobile operators across the region are devoting significant resources to increasing voice use on their networks, something which still accounts for 80 percent of their revenues," comments Phil Kendall, Director, Global Wireless Practice, and author of the report. "Homezone pricing, larger bundles of free minutes and free off-peak or on-net calling are increasingly common. However, while these efforts are stimulating usage they are doing little to boost spending levels."

David Kerr, Vice President, Global Wireless Practice, adds, "Over the last year, revenues per minute from wireless voice have been falling faster than at any point this decade and voice revenues will reach their peak this year. However data revenue growth will keep total revenues in positive territory beyond that -- these increased to 20 percent of total service revenues in Q1."

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