Telecoms capex: worldwide trends and forecasts 2018–2030

07 March 2024 | Research

Caroline Gabriel | Rupert Wood

Forecast report | PPTX and PDF (16 slides); Excel | Operator Investment Strategies

"The telecoms industry must adapt to a permanent reduction in operator capex in networks and other infrastructure."


The political and economic turmoil of the early 2020s has intensified telecoms operators’ quest for improved capex efficiency, especially in mobile networks. This forecast analyses the main changes in investment patterns to 2030 and their impact on the telecoms industry.

This report and associated data annex provide:

  • a comprehensive and granular analysis and forecast of capex on telecoms networks, IT and other assets, broken down into 17 categories
  • discussion of the key trends that will alter patterns of investment in telecoms infrastructure and IT permanently, and the impact on vendors and other stakeholders
  • analysis of the level of capex that will shift from traditional operators to other investors such as hyperscalers, government initiatives, infracos and the enterprise ecosystem
  • regional forecasts and analysis across eight regions plus a separate break-out for China
  • analysis of the patterns of investment in major access network projects including FTTx and 5G, and reasons for the permanent shortfall in expected 5G spending
  • discussion of the impact of a new capex cycle on future evolutions such as ‘6G’.

Geographical coverage

  • Worldwide
  • Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
  • Developed Asia–Pacific (DVAP)
  • Emerging Asia–Pacific (EMAP) excluding China
  • China


  • Latin America (LATAM)
  • Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
  • North America (NA)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
  • Western Europe (WE)


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Caroline Gabriel

Research Director, expert in network and cloud strategies and architecture