Top ten most valuable telecommunication companies in the world
According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, the global telecommunications services market is set to reach a whopping value of US$1.4bn by 2025. Using data from Forbes, we investigate the top ten telecommunication companies in the world by market value in 2018.
10 | Orange
With a market value of $48bn in 2018, Orange has earned its stripes as the dominant telecommunications company in France and the third largest in Europe. The firm’s operations make for impressive reading: it has 450,000km of undersea cables (enough to go around the earth 10 times), 6,498 patents in its portfolio as well as 150,000 employees across the world. Additionally, Orange also claims to have 53mn 4G customers worldwide and 261mn customers across the globe. In an annual survey by ARCEP, Orange has been voted the top mobile network in France for the eighth time in a row.
9 | China Telecom Corporation
Boasting a market value of $39bn in 2018, China Telecom Corporation is a major player in the telecommunications industry. As of the end of 2017, the company says it had around 250mn mobile subscribers, 134mn wireline broadband subscribers and around 122mn access lines in service. Yang Jie has been the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of China Telecom since 2015.
8 | KDDI Corporation
Headquartered in the Garden Air Tower in Iidabashi, Tokyo, KDDI Corporation is Japan’s second largest mobile operator with a market value of $66bn according to Forbes. In 2014, KDDI unveiled that it was teaming up with five other global companies including Google to build a new trans-Pacific cable system linking the west coast of the United States with Japan. The cable has been in operation since 2016.
7 | Telefonica
Telefonica is the number one Spanish multinational by market capitalisation and one of the largest private telecommunication companies in the world. Forbes reports that the business had a market value of $81bn in 2018, generating around $60bn in sales. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
6 | Deutsche Telekom
Not only is Germany’s Deutsche Telekom the largest telecommunications company in Europe, it’s also the 6th most valuable in the world with a market valuation of $81bn. The business boasts around 168mn mobile customers, 28mn fixed-network lines as well as 19mn broadband lines. It has a presence in more than 50 countries with some 216,000 employees throughout the world. Forbes notes that the business generated $85bn in sales and $4bn in profit in 2018.
5 | Nippon Telegraph & Telephone
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, commonly referred to as NTT, is the fifth most valuable telecommunications company according to Forbes, with a market value of $96bn. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the business generated $105bn in sales and $8bn in profit last year. While Nippon Telegraph and Telephone is listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, New York, and London stock exchanges, the Japanese government still owns roughly one-third of the company’s shares.
4 | SoftBank
Headed up by CEO Masayoshi Son, Japanese holding conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. is one of the most valuable telecommunication companies in the world. Forbes reports that the firm recorded $83bn in sales and $9bn in profit in 2018. Meanwhile, its assets were valued at $293bn. Softbank is currently the majority owner of American telecom Sprint, but following merger discussions with T-Mobile's parent Deutsche Telekom, the pair have reached an agreement for a Sprint and T-Mobile merger which will see Softbank’s ownership fall from over 80% to around just 27% of the combined entity. If the deal goes ahead as planned, it is expected to close in the first half of the year. Forbes recorded that the company had a market value of $85bn in 2018.
3 | China Mobile
Boasting a market valuation of around $193bn, China Mobile is one of the most valuable telecommunication firms in Asia. In November 2018, the company reported that it had around 933mn customers in total, with 705mn 4G customers as well as 154mn wireline broadband customers. Through its day-to-day operations, the group provides full communications services in all 31 provinces, autonomous regions and directly-administered municipalities throughout Mainland China and Hong Kong.
2 | Verizon Communications
Claiming the second spot on the leader board, Verizon Communications stands as one of the most valuable telecommunication companies in the world with a valuation of around $201bn. Forbes reports that the American business generated $128bn in sales and $31bn in profit respectively in 2018. Verizon Communications was first founded in 2000 by Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp., in what was one of the largest mergers in US business history at the time. The New-York based company completed its $4.5bn acquisition of Yahoo in June 2017. It then combined these newly acquired internet assets with its AOL brands to form a new subsidiary called Oath.
1 | AT&T
Topping the ranking with a market valuation of around $198bn, AT&T is one of the most valuable telecommunications players in the world. Headquartered in Texas, USA, AT&T has racked up 34 consecutive years of quarterly dividend growth and today it stands as a Fortune 10 company. The firm recently completed acquisition of Time Warner – now known as WarnerMedia - bringing brands such as Warner Bros., HBO and Turner under its umbrella. According to Forbes, the American telecommunications company generated around $159bn in sales in 2018, making a profit of $31bn.