Metric: Mobile capex will reach $163.5B in 2013

Although North America's mobile capital expenditures will likely remain flat this year, globally CAPEX investment will rise from more than $113 billion in 2007 to $163.5 billion in 2013, according to ABI Research. In the Asia-Pacific region, that growth will primarily be driven by markets that are expanding current 2G footprints and new 3G rollouts. In North America, look for carriers to be spending on 3G upgrades to HSDPA/HSPA and EVDO Rev. A, as well as activities around mobile WiMAX.

ABI researchers say that currently most of the CAPEX is still going to voice services and 2G networks expansion. However that will change. "CAPEX for data services will surpass that for voice sometime in 2009 as 4G starts to arrive," says Hwai Lin Khor, analyst with ABI. By 2013, the firm expects 28 percent of CAPEX spending to be for voice, 67 percent for data and 5 percent for mobile TV.

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