Curious to find out which are 10 largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue? The telecommunication industry has been a witness to a rapidly shifting technology landscape. Today’s means of communication have evolved and become more and more complex. Telecommunications was disrupted by mobile innovation in the 1990’s, followed by the advent of internet based communications like video calling and chatting.
Mobile broadband is set to become central to the industry’s development going forward. It is estimated that the ratio between communications on machines to human communications will reach 30:1 by 2020. This means that the potential of this industry is still quite large. Internet of Things (IoT) is also emerging as a massive opportunity for both IT and telecom companies, which will help close the gap between the physical world and internet (see 5 Best Internet of Things Companies to Invest in).
In order to keep pace with the rapidly changing trends, the telecom players have also evolved over last few years. Besides plain voice calling, they now provide a wide variety of services to their consumers worldwide. We have a listed below a list of 10 largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue.
It is interesting to see how the services of these companies have encompassed geographical borders, even though there are national telecom players present in those regions. It shows the importance of customer preference. AT&T Inc. is the world’s largest telecom player by revenue. Only two U.S. based companies made the top five while two Chinese companies found a place in the top ten largest telecom companies in the world by revenue. The list of largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue is based on Forbes‘ World’s Biggest Public Companies 2016 ranking.
10. Telefonica S.A. (ADR) (NYSE:TEF)
Revenue – $52.4 billion
Telefonica is a Spanish service provider having operations in Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America. Telefonica operates through its Movistar, O2, and Vivo brands, and provides mobile, landline, Internet and television services to more than 300 million customers from several countries. The company has a market value of $49 billion and has revenues of around $52.4 billion. With a presence in 21 countries, Telefonica ranks tenth in the list of largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue.
9. China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHA)
Revenue – $52.7 billion
Chinese state-owned telecommunication company, China Telecom is the largest fixed-line service provider in China. China Telecom also has the largest single Wi-Fi wireless broadband network in China. The company’s mobile and wireless broadband subscribers amounted to 197.9 million and 113 million respectively at the end of 2015. China Telecom witnessed a notable increase in the number of its 4G terminal users to 58.46 million in 2015 from 7 million in the earlier year. China Telecom’s brands include E-surfing, E-surfing Navigator, E-surfing E Home and E-surfing Flying Young. The company has a market capitalization value of $37.8 billion.
8. America Movil SAB de CV (ADR) (NYSE:AMX)
Revenue – $56.3 billion
It is a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services in Latin America with a market cap of $40 billion. As of June 2016, the Mexico-based company, that also one of the largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue, had 283 million wireless subscribers, 33 million landlines, 26 million broadband accesses and 22 million PayTV units. In the United States, it operates through its subsidiary TracFone Wireless, Inc. and in Latin America it operates under the brands – Telmex, Telcel and Claro. America Movil SAB de CV (ADR) (NYSE:AMX) has a wireless market share of 67% in Mexico as of September 2016.
7. Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)
Revenue – $64.5 billion
Vodafone is a British telecommunications company, headquartered in London. In 26 years of its existence, Vodafone successfully operates networks in 26 countries and has more than 400 million customers around the world. Its segments include Europe and AMAP (Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific). The Company, one of the largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue, provides a range of services, including voice, messaging and data across mobile and fixed networks. Vodafone acquired three companies – Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Kabel Deutschland and Ono between 2012 and 2014. The company also tried acquiring stakes in US AT&T Wireless but was outbid in 2004. Later the company also sold its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless in 2013. The company has a market cap of $67 billion.
6. SoftBank Group Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF)
Revenue – $74.7 billion
SoftBank is another large Japanese multinational telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo. The company operates in fixed line, mobile, internet and digital television services. The company owns 80% stake in U.S. communications company, Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S), in addition to holding stakes in other leading service providers like OlaCabs, Snapdeal, Housing.com etc. Moreover, SoftBank also partners with Japanese subsidiaries of Yahoo, Alibaba Group, Morningstar etc. The company’s market value is $80 billion. Recently, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has confirmed its plans to invest $1 billion in a technology fund set by Softbank for development of technologies that Apple believes could be strategically important to it.
5. Deutsche Telekom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:DTEGY)
Revenue – $76.8 billion
Next on the list of largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue is the Deutsche Telekom that is a German telecommunications company formed in 1996. The German government holds a 31.8% stake in the company. Other than fixed landline and mobile and broadband services, Deutsche Telekom also provides IT and networking solutions and digital television. The German company has a market value of $81 billion. The company also has a strong international presence with almost half of its revenues being generated from outside Germany. It provides around 40 million narrowband lines, over 9 million broadband lines and has 14 million registered Internet customers.
Keep reading to find who tops the list of largest telecom companies in the world by revenue.
4. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp (ADR) (NYSE:NTT)
Revenue – $94.2 billion
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp is a Japanese telecommunications company headquartered in Tokyo. The Japanese government still owns 33% of NTT’s shares. The company has a market capitalization of $94 billion. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp (ADR) (NYSE:NTT) provides telecommunications-related services in Japan including fixed and mobile services, Internet Protocol, system integration. Its businesses are broadly divided into regional, international, mobile and data communications; and other businesses. NTT was one of the oldest and largest IPOs of all times globally, raising $15.3 billion in February 1987.
3. China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL)
Revenue – $107.8 billion
China Mobile, one of the largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue, is the leading mobile services provider in Mainland China and controls 70% of the Chinese mobile market. Its number of subscribers reached 835 million in May 2016 up from 807 million at the end of 2014. Incorporated in 1997, China Mobile has dominated Chinese mobile services since its foundation. The company is state-owned and like many Chinese companies enjoys protectionist benefits from its government. China Mobile has a market capitalization of $228 billion.
2. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)
Revenue – $131.6 billion
Verizon Communications is a broadband and wireless communications service provider in the U.S. Based in New York City, the company was formed as a result of merger of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp in 2000. The current market cap value of the company is $216 billion and it reported sales of $131.6 billion in 2015. In 2015, Verizon completed its acquisition of AOL. It also bought back Vodafone’s 45% interest stake in 2014. Moreover, last year, the company agreed to acquire the core assets of Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO).
1. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T)
Revenue – $146.8 billion
AT&T is the largest telecom companies in the world in terms of revenue. The American multinational telecommunications conglomerate is headquartered in Texas. The company has a market capitalization of $258 billion and reported revenue of $146.8 billion in 2015. AT&T is a provider of mobile and fixed telephone services and also provides broadband subscription television services through DirecTV. The company is also expected to roll out 5G wireless this year. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) recently announced plans to acquire media giant Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) and should register positive synergies through this integration.