Ovum’s Global Telecoms Analyzer shows that service provider revenues grew by 2.2 percent in 2009. This rate, the slowest in a decade, provides evidence that the industry has finally succumbed to the impact of the global economic downturn.

However, the mobile sector has returned to healthy growth, sufficient to overcome the steady decline in fixed-line services. Total revenues, as reported by service providers, will grow by 6 percent in 2010 and by 5 percent per year through 2014.

“Globally, mobile is keeping telecoms buzzing,” says John Lively, chief forecaster at Ovum. “In 2010, China and India alone will add 329 million new mobile phone connections, equivalent to more than the combined total population of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the U.K.”

Although fixed-line services will continue to decline, fiber connections for broadband services will be increasingly important for telcos. Overall, the number of fixed lines worldwide will fall from 1 billion in 2010 to 871 million by 2014. Fixed-line service revenues will fall from around $350 billion to $283 billion over the same period. At the same time, mobile phone connections will increase from 5.3 billion in 2010 to 7.1 billion in 2014, with the emerging markets of Asia and Africa contributing much of the growth. Revenues from mobile phone services will increase by nearly $100 billion in the three years to 2012.

“While fixed voice lines and revenues will continue declining due to mobile substitution, fixed revenues overall will benefit from the growth in broadband services (Internet access, video, and VoIP) enabled by continued deployment of fiber-to-the-premises networks,” Lively adds.