Top executives at Europe’s telecoms firms dared to suggest this week that they might at last be turning a corner after years of declining revenues, as demand rises for 4G mobile broadband, regulatory pressures ease and the industry consolidates.
For the network operators a comparative recovery on revenue next year will come in part simply because the price cuts imposed by regulators on roaming charges and the termination fees operators charge for carrying each other’s traffic is now behind them.
But they are also starting to see the benefit of the billions they spent on the 4G networks that enable people on the move to watch TV and surf the web.
“The music seems good, but let’s see how it plays out. The question remains on if we can monetise 4G as more people get the phones in their hands,” Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao told investors and industry executives at the annual Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecoms conference in Barcelona.