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Central and Eastern Europe Mobile Market

Mobile service providers in Central and Eastern Europe will increase their annual service revenues by more than 30 percent to $77 billion in 2013, according to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media.

As the rise in voice revenues levels off from 2011, overall growth will be driven by a doubling in the value of data revenues which will reach $23.4 billion in 2013.

Growth will be primarily driven by continued expansion of the mobile subscription base, which will increase almost 20 percenet, from 447 million at end-2008 to 534 million at end-2013.

Growth will also be fuelled by the increasing tendency for people to maintain two or more SIM cards in active use -- in some cases buying the second for a mobile broadband connection.

Annual mobile data revenues in Central and Eastern Europe will increase 107 percent from $11.3 billion in 2008 to $23.4 billion in 2013. As a result, the proportion of revenue generated by data is forecast to increase by more than half, from 19.4 percent in 2008 to 30.4 percent by 2013.

Voice revenue from existing subscriptions will also rise gradually, thanks to increased usage: leading Russian operators MTS and VimpelCom, for example, have already seen average outgoing and incoming minutes of use (MOU) exceed 200 per subscription per month in 2008.

Higher monthly rental incomes are also contributing to revenue growth in markets where operators have concentrated on migrating prepaid subscriptions onto contracts -- a trend that will continue to have a positive impact on revenues in the region over the next five years.

The share of subscriptions on contracts in the Czech Republic, for example, increased by 3.3 percentage points over 2008, helping to shore up blended ARPU, as revenue from contract subscriptions increased.

Although voice revenues, particularly in the enterprise sector, are likely to be suppressed by the contraction of the region's economies, operators have expressed optimism that mobile data services will prove resilient.

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