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Telecom capex up 6% to $311 billion in 2011, revenue up 8% to $1.86 trillion, driven by mobile broadband


Campbell, CALIFORNIA, Nov. 8, 2011—Market research firm Infonetics Research today released excerpts from its Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers report, which analyzes telecom carrier capital expenditures (capex), operational expenses (opex), revenue per user, and subscriber trends by operator, operator type, region, and telecom equipment segment.


"The near-6% increase in global telecom carrier capex we expect in 2011 over 2010 is due in part to AT&T’s ramping LTE deployments, HSPA+ upgrades, and investments in WiFi hotspots for traffic offload. This offsets Verizon Wireless' slowing mobile spending since their LTE rollout peaked earlier this year. That’s North America. In the EMEA region, a capex hike in Africa is partially offsetting delays in telecom investment in Greece, Italy, and Hungary; Asia Pacific remains stable; and in the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), América Móvil and Telefónica, the two telecom giants that control 75% of mobile subscribers there, are preparing their infrastructure to host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016," asserts Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure at Infonetics Research.

Téral adds: "We maintain our view that the sovereign debt crisis that is paralyzing Europe continues to have little impact on our telecom capex forecast. As long as credit remains available to telecoms at a fair price, the ongoing sovereign debt crisis should have little impact on telecommunications equipment spending. Investment plans across world regions suggest mobile broadband and FTTx is the name of the game going forward."


  • In the 10 years from 2005 to 2015, telecom service provider revenue has shown and will continue to show year-over-year growth every year except in 2009
    • Following a 4.1% increase in 2010 over 2009, telecom service provider revenue will grow 7.6% in 2011, to US$1.86 trillion
    • Telecom carrier revenue is forecast by Infonetics to grow to US$2.17 trillion in 2015, driven by mobile broadband
  • Infonetics expects global telecom carrier capex to total $310.8 billion in 2011, up 5.8% over 2010
  • Service provider spending on every type of next-gen telecom equipment except TDM voice is up in 2011, as expected
  • The fastest-growing investment areas among telecom carriers in 2011 are WiMAX equipment (+27.5%) and video infrastructure (+20.7%)
  • The largest investment areas remain non-telecom/datacom equipment (software, real estate, labor, etc.) and mobile infrastructure, global spending for which is growing 7% and 8.6%, respectively, in 2011 over 2010
  • Asia Pacific will continue to be the largest telecom carrier capex region through 2015, driven by China Mobile, which ended 2010 as the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue
  • Wireless pure-play operators will grow to account for nearly 1/3 of all telecom carrier capex by 2015


Infonetics’ capex reports track revenue, capex, capital intensities (capex-to-revenue ratios), opex, ARPU, subscribers, and access lines of public and semi-private/government-owned service providers in North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia Pacific, CALA, and worldwide. Together, the reports provide historical data, forecasts, market drivers, analysis, trends, demographics, and the ability to analyze data by service provider, service provider type, and equipment category. Categories tracked: CPE, non-telecom/data network equipment, and network infrastructure equipment (broadband aggregation, mobile, WiMAX, IP routers and carrier Ethernet switches, optical, IP voice, TDM voice, video, other telecom equipment).


For related research below, download report highlights, prospectuses, tables of contents, etc. at


  1. Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers
  2. VoIP and Unified Communication Services and Subscribers
  3. Mobile Backhaul Equipment and Services
  4. 2G/3G/4G (LTE and WiMAX) Infrastructure and Subscribers
  5. 2G/3G/4G (LTE and WiMAX) Broadband Devices and Subscribers



Download Infonetics’ 2011 Calendar by Coverage Area at


Infonetics Research ( is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively.

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"The near-6% increase in global telecom carrier capex we expect in 2011 over 2010 is due in large part to AT&T’s ramping LTE deployments, HSPA+ upgrades, and investments in WiFi hotspots for traffic offload."

Stéphane Téral, Principal Analyst
Mobile and FMC Infrastructure


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