NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In the current market volatility, telecom stocks are the flavor of the month as nervous investors, starved of yields, are seeking defensive investments to endure the turmoil roiling the global economy. According to Fitch Ratings, the U.S. telecom sector is likely to see revenue growth of 3% to 4% in 2012, powered by spending on 4G wireless networks, enhanced build-out of fiber-to-cell sites and the increasing availability of wire-line broadband.
Pyramid Research pegs total service revenue for the global telecom services market at $1.7 trillion, or 2.4% of global GDP in 2012.
Based on average estimates of analysts polled by Bloomberg, these five stocks have potential upsides ranging from 11% to 94%, with average buy and average hold guidance of 75% and 20%, respectively.
The stocks are listed in ascending order of upside potential.