European mobile in Q4 2015 – The challengers’ challenge

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European mobile in Q4 2015 – The challengers’ challenge

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European mobile in Q4 2015 – The challengers’ challenge
European mobile service revenue growth was flat at -0.8%, while underlying country movements were somewhat more dramatic. The key highlights were Italy returning to positive growth driven by pricing stability, and France showing worsening growth decline for the first time in over two years impacted by challenger telco pricing cuts.
An assessment of these challenger telcos highlights a somewhat precarious position, as continued price aggression yields diminishing incremental gains, and they all remain some way from gaining the scale to achieve profitability.
The only incentive for challengers to remain aggressive is as an encouragement for their competitors to buy them; increasing regulatory hurdles to consolidation would remove even this incentive, leaving price increases as their only rational route to profitability.