The telecommunications sector accounted for 2.8% of EU GDP in 2010. Since 2009 its revenues have been decreasing (by 10% in Western Europe alone), which may indicate structural rather than cyclical (due to the economic downturn) changes. There are three main areas, with contrasting dynamics:
In absolute terms, revenue for fixed and mobile voice telephony is declining slightly while data revenue is growing (particularly for mobile data services). The decline of revenue from voice telephony may be explained by shrinking demand for fixed voice telephone services. In case of mobile voice telephony the main factors are a reduction in tariffs1 and a decrease in metered traffic due to consumers switching to alternative applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (e.g. Skype).