Europe added 15.8 million SIM cards in 2017 driven by the growth in M2M cards, says GlobalData

Date: Tue, 10/30/2018 - 14:39 Source: GlobalData

Total SIM cards in the European market continued to increase in 2017, though at a slower pace than in the two previous years. Total SIM growth amounted to 15.8 million for the year, compared to 18.5 million in 2016 and 27 million in 2015 due to continuous decline in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) SIM cards stemming from lower mobile termination rates, and therefore the decline in dual SIM cards, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company

Europe added 15.8 million SIM cards in 2017 driven by the growth in M2M cards, says GlobalData

Stephanie Char, Technology Analyst at GlobalData

Image credited to GlobalData

Western Europe grew by 17.3 million SIM cards in 2017, driven by the growth of machine-to-machine (M2M) cards, the highest yearly increase over the past five years with 21.7 million in 2017. The growth is mainly due to the proliferation of M2M cards (+15.2 million in 2017) against a fairly stable handsets market (+1.5 million) and connected data devices (+0.7 million).
France with 3.3 million and Italy with 3.9 million contributed the most in terms of M2M cards growth in 2017, with most of the other Western European countries registering strong growth, expect for Germany with 38% of total net additions, Portugal with 17% and Spain with 34%.
Stephanie Char, Technology Analyst at GlobalData comments, “In the CEE, the growth in M2M cards by 6.6 million was not sufficient against the decline of total handsets subscriptions by 7.5 million. The drop was the highest in the biggest markets of the region, namely Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.”
Migration to postpaid SIM cards continued in 2017, with net additions of 9.7 million excluding M2M/Internet of Things (IoT). Prepaid cards declined by 15.7 million in the same time, with a percentage of total mobile subscription declining by 7 percentage points since 2013, to 51%. Differences still exist between Western Europe (highly postpaid) and CEE (highly prepaid). Excluding M2M/IoT, the share of prepaid cards in Central and Eastern Europe declined by 1.3 percentage points over the last five years.
Char adds: “Data usage is growing fast in the region. Average monthly data usage almost quintupled in Western Europe in the last five years to 2.2GB in 2017 and more than tripled in the CEE, at 3.1GB per user per month. Other than Austria, Finland and Sweden in Western Europe, Russia is also contributing to increasing the CEE’s average, with Megafon posting very high data usage - 6.5GB per user per month in 2017.”

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