The global telecommunications industry, led by the top telecom companies in the world, has been growing rapidly over the recent decades, mainly attributed to the the rising demand for wireless communication networks and the ongoing innovations in information and communications technologies (ICT). In the foreseeable future, many newly emerged technologies, such as 5G network, big data, Internet of Things (IOT), cloud computing, and machine-to-machine (M2M) etc will continue to boost and transform the telecom services provided by those largest telecom companies around the world. The top 10 largest telecom companies in the world are expected to maintain their leaderships in the global telecommunications market and keep expending their operations on a global level over the near future.
Global Telecommunications Industry Overview 2018
So, what is the telecommunications industry? It is a subsector of information and communication technology (ICT) that consists of many service providers for telephone, internet service, mobile networks and other forms of digital transmission or communications, which are all essential in our current information society. A smartphone is one of the key application of mobile telecommunication service which includes extensive range of telecommunication functions, such as making phone calls, receiving or sending data via mobile networks, and accessing internet.
According to the recent report from Transparency Market Research, the global telecommunications services market is set to reach value of $1.4 billion by 2025, registering a strong CAGR of 6.6% during 2017-2025. Internet and phone are one of the fastest growing segments in the global telecommunication services market. Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest rate in global telecommunication services market over the next few years. Led by some of the largest telecommunications markets in the world including China, India and Japan, Asia-Pacific is currently representing nearly 35% of the overall global telecommunication services market. The high growth in the region is owing to high mobile penetration rate and growing population in the region.
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Among the rapid development of mobile telecommunications, 4G LTE and fixed broadband are still some of the leading segments around the world. However, newly emerged 5G network is growing with an exceptional pace and will continue to be a key trend of the global telecommunications services market in 2018 and beyond.
Top 10 Telecom Companies in the World by Market Value in 2018
1. Verizon Communications | USA | Market value: $201 billion
Verizon Communications Inc is one of the largest telecom companies in the world and among top telecommunication companies in the USA with a market value of around $201 billion in 2018. Verizon is headquartered in Manhattan, New York City and operates in over 150 countries worldwide. Over the recent years, the company has put its main focus on developing digital & mobile infrastructures and has been investing heavily in next-generation 5G wireless technologies as well as the multitrillion-dollar Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities.
2. AT&T | USA | Market value: $198 billion
AT&T Inc is another American multinational telecommunication conglomerate with market value of $198 billion in 2018. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the company offers a wide range of products and services, including mobile phone, satellite TV, Home Security, Fixed Telephone, Digital TV as well as Broadband internet etc. to over 355 million customers across 56 U.S. metropolitan cities, with plans for further expansion,
3. China Mobile | China | Market value: $193 billion
China Mobile is a state-owned telecommunication company that provides mobile services through its nationwide mobile telecommunications network in China. Its mobile phone network serves over 902 million subscribers as of June 2018, making it the world’s largest mobile phone operator by total number of subscribers. Headquartered in Beijing, China, it is also listed in the Hong Kong stock exchange and the NYSE as a public company.
4. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone | Japan | Market value: $96 billion
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) is one of the top telecom companies in Japan with a market value of $96 billion in 2018. The company’s revenues are mainly driven by fiber optic connections and cloud computing services rather than bundle packages. It also owns NTT DoCoMo – a dominant cellular carrier in Japan, and some phone companies in the country.
5. SoftBank | Japan | Market value: $85 billion
Softbank Group Corp. is a Japanese multinational holding conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It owns 80% of Sprint – a leading telecom companies in the USA. SoftBank also owns operations in broadband; fixed-line telecommunications; e-commerce; internet; technology services; finance; media and marketing; semiconductor design; and other businesses. The company has a market value of $85 billion in 2018.
6. Deutsche Telekom | Germany | Market value: $81 billion
Deutsche Telekom headquartered in in Bonn, Germany, is the largest telecommunications services provider in Europe, with a market value of $81 billion in 2018. The company operates several subsidiaries worldwide, including T-Mobile, and owns major shares in many other top telecom companies in Europe, such as Magyar Telekom (Hungary), Slovak Telekom (Slovakia), Hellenic telecommunication operator OTE. Today, Deutsche Telekom has over 205 million subscribers for its mobile, broadband other network services.
7. Vodafone | UK | Market value: $76 billion
Vodafone plc is a British multinational telecommunications corporation, with headquarters in London, the UK. It is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the UK, and also provides telecommunications and IT services in over 150 countries across the regions of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. It’s the world’s second largest mobile network operator, after China Mobile, with over 535 million mobile subscribers by 2018.
8. Telefonica | Spain | Market value: $51 billion
Telefonica Telecom is a leading Spanish multinational telecom corporation and one of the largest private telecommunications companies in the world, providing telephone, mobile, TV network and internet services in Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America. It also owns several renewed telecommunications brands including Movistar, O2 and Vivo. With over $51 billion market value in 2018, Telefonica is also one of the top telecom companies in the world.
9. Orange | France | Market value: $48 billion
Orange S.A. is a French multinational telecommunications giant mainly offering telecom services for mobile, landline, Internet and IPTV. It is also one of the largest 4G and fiber optic services providers in Europe, where Orange generates over 70% of its revenues every year. Orange also has strong presence in Middle East and Africa, with over 120 million subscribers in those regions. In total, it has 256 million customers worldwide.
10. China Telecom | China | Market value: $39 billion
China Telecom is another state-owned telecommunication company based in Beijing, China. It is the largest landline service provider and third largest mobile network operator in China. In total, China Telecom provides fixed-line services to 194 million customers, mobile services to 215 million customers, and broadband services to 113 million customers across China, making it one of the largest telecom companies in the world.
Future of the Top Telecom Companies in the World
As demand for advanced telecommunication technologies continues to rise around the world, the global telecommunications industry is expected to witness a stronger growth in the near future. Meanwhile, these top telecom companies, also known as Telcos, are also projected to achieve higher revenues by developing new telecom technologies, launching new products & services, and gaining new customers. Many leading Telcos or mobile operators are already investing heavily on improving mobile and fixed broadband infrastructures, while some telecom services providers are also looking at the vertical markets offered by developments in Internet, TV and video-streaming to boost revenue streams and others are expanding regionally or internationally.