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Despite decline in 2020 due to COVID-19, China’s mobile service revenue set to register 1.5% CAGR over 2019-2024, forecasts predict

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The total mobile services revenue in China is set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5% from US$127.4bn in 2019 to US$137.1bn in 2024, supported by healthy growth in mobile data service revenues, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s China Telecom Operators Country Intelligence Report forecasts that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the country’s telecom sector will be visible in 2020. Mobile service revenues are set to decline by 6.3% year-on-year in 2020, due to considerable drop in mobile subscriptions, and decline in the aggregate mobile ARPU due to discounts and fee waivers that have been offered by the operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deepa Dhingra, Telecom Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The mobile data segment is expected to remain relatively resilient to the COVID-19 crisis and see its revenue increase at a CAGR of 7.4% over the 2019-2024 period, driven by the steady growth in mobile Internet subscriptions and increasing data average revenue per user (ARPU). On the other hand, revenues from mobile voice and mobile messaging segments will continue to decline at CAGRs of 8.7% and 24.8%, respectively, over 2019-2024.

“4G is currently the leading mobile technology but will see its share of the total mobile subscriptions dropping from 79.5% in 2019 to 41.2% by 2024, due to user migration to 5G services over the forecast period. 5G will overtake 4G subscriptions in 2023 to become the leading mobile technology in China. 5G subscriptions will account for 52.8% share of the total mobile subscriptions in 2024.”

China Mobile will remain as the mobile market leader over 2019-2024, essentially due to its widespread 4G coverage and strong focus on 5G network development. Moreover, competition in the mobile market in China is expected to intensify further with local telecom service provider China Broadcasting Network (CBN) acquiring 5G spectrum in 2020.

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