EU network upgrades to help push operator capex to $354B this year, say analysts

Network upgrades by operators across the European Union as well as massive rollouts of LTE networks in China are set to increase operators' total capital expenditure by 4 per cent to $354 billion (€258 billion) by the end of 2014.

According to latest forecasts by Infonetics Research, major European upgrades by Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone will provide a significant boost to global capex, along with the LTE rollouts led by China Mobile and China Telecom.

However, the picture is less rosy for growth in telecoms services revenue. As saturation and competition intensify in every market of the globe, Infonetics said it expects global telecoms services revenue to grow at just 1.7 per cent CAGR from 2013 to 2018.

Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the world's second-largest telecoms revenue contributor, is expected to continue losing ground to frontrunner Asia Pacific through 2018, the company added, while North America holds steady and Latin America stays flat.

In 2013, global telecoms operator capex grew 6.7 per cent year-on-year to $340 billion, according to Infonetics. The company noted that billions of operator revenue and capex were erased when converted to the U.S. dollar after significant foreign exchange adjustments.

Spending grew for most types of equipment except TDM voice, video infrastructure, and customer premises equipment (CPE). In particular, IP voice capex increased by 32 per cent thanks to LTE rollouts based on IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and preparations for voice over LTE (VoLTE).

Total telecoms services revenue increased by 1.4 per cent worldwide to $1.97 trillion in 2013, with EMEA dragging down overall growth.

In December last year, ABI Research reported that Huawei maintained its number one ranking rank in the global radio access network (RAN) market with a share of 28.1 per cent by the end of the third quarter. Ericsson was in second position, followed by Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Solutions & Networks, now known as Nokia's Networks business.

For more:
- see this Infonetics release

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