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Annual telecommunications statistics, 2016

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Released: 2018-05-17

Telecommunications' operating revenues

$60.9 billion


1.0% increase

(annual change)

In 2016, operating revenues for the telecommunications industry rose 1.0% over 2015 to $60.9 billion. At the same time, operating expenses increased 1.4% to $47.6 billion. As a result, the industry generated a 21.8% operating profit margin.

Mobile services (including paging) and Internet services were largely behind the growth in the industry. These services were the only ones to post an increase. Internet services revenues rose 9.9% to $10.5 billion in 2016, while revenues of mobile services (including paging) were up 3.1% to $24.6 billion. Together, mobile services (including paging) and Internet services accounted for 57.7% of industry revenues.

Operating revenues for other services were down. The operating revenues of wired telephony services (local and access services and long-distance services) continued their downward trend, falling 6.0% from 2015 to $10.0 billion in 2016. Data and private line services revenues decreased 4.8% to $5.0 billion.

Operating revenues for cable television services fell 1.2% to $9.3 billion in 2016. This is the second consecutive year of decreased revenues following several years of growth. Cable television services have faced strong competition from online video services over the last few years.

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