The GSMA, which represents almost 800 mobile operators worldwide, has released a set of European statistics from its Mobile Observatory series. It outlines the state of the mobile industry in Europe, from competition and innovation to including social and economic development.
The GSMA’s figures show that approximately 1% of the total European Economic Area GDP - around €174 billion (£148 billion) - can be attributed to mobile operators. The industry employs 370,000 Europeans directly and indirectly causes the employment of 1.3 million more people.
Almost 100% of Europe’s populated areas now have mobile coverage, while mobile penetration is running at 128% in Europe (compared with 100% in Japan and 104% in the United States). This represents 656 million active SIM cards held by an estimated 456 million Europeans (89% of the population).
Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA, said “The mobile industry has transformed the way in which we live, work and play by continuously improving and introducing new services and products and creating a more ‘connected economy’. The Observatory’s findings show that the mobile industry is a critical business sector in Europe; in just twenty years, the mobile industry has grown to become comparable in size to aerospace and larger than pharmaceuticals, with total revenues amounting to €174 billion in 2010 and creating an estimated 1.7 million jobs. Given the right opportunities and environment, the mobile industry is expected to continue investing strongly in new technologies and new services. Support of future technologies, by operators, vendors and regulatory stakeholders such as the European Commission, are vital for future economic growth.”