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Telecoms capex: worldwide trends and forecast 2017–2025

Caroline Gabriel Principal Analyst, Research

"Digitalisation and 5G will be the key drivers of telecoms capex growth in the 2020s, but they need to be more closely aligned to maximise the return on investment."

It will take a long time for communications service provider (CSP) capex levels to recover following their decline in 2016, and they will not reach the 15-year peak from 2015 during the forecast period. Wireless networks are increasingly driving capex because the most intensive period of FTTx build-out will be ending just as 5G is starting to take off. The sharp fall in FTTx spending in the 2020s will only be partially offset by other wireline investments such as long-haul and cloud. Non-CSPs are gradually coming into play, are introducing new patterns of investment and, sometimes, are co-investing with CSPs.

This is Analysys Mason’s first comprehensive forecast of every aspect of telecoms operator capex and it provides an invaluable analysis of the key capex trends for operators, vendors and investors, at a time when spending on fibre, wireless and digital technology are increasingly co-dependent.

The report provides:

  • a detailed breakdown of CSP capex to 2025, well into the early 5G era
  • an in-depth view of how 5G, as well as related developments such as virtualisation and automation, will affect the patterns of investment
  • capex envelopes for six different CSP profiles with very different spending priorities
  • capex forecasts broken down by 7 regions plus China, and by 10 categories of spending including access, core, IT, infrastructure, digital and non-network assets.