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The Mobile operator capex spending: worldwide trends and forecasts 2016–2025

This is Analysys Mason's first comprehensive forecast of mobile operator capex spending and provides an invaluable companion to our wireline network capex forecasts, at a time when investment in fibre and wireless are increasingly co-dependent.

Note: This report is delivered as a zip file containing, PPTX, PDF and Excel files.

Worldwide trends

5G spending will help to drive a 23% rise in capex from 2018 to - 2025, but its pattern will be radically different from 3G and 4G

Five types of operator – each with a distinctive capex profile – will dominate regional mobile investment as the MNO model diversifies

Fragmentation of the operator models means new patterns of investment

5G will be deployed in phases over a decade, initially led by integrated operators, but increasingly introducing disruptors with new economics

Different operator types will have different investment strategies within these new capex norms; emerging markets will drive growth

Prior to the deployment of 5G radio, most operators are investing in foundations that will alter the economics of the new network

The need for a lower cost base for 5G will increase sharing and wholesaling, creating a split between utility and capex-light MNOs

New software-driven architectures, in tandem with increased sharing and outsourcing, will represent significant capex, reducing future costs

Operator trends

Developed market integrated: Integrated operators will use their fibre to transform the network cost base and move to a more wholesale-driven model

Developed market integrated: Early moves to 5G and new architectures will create a heavy capex burden in 2020, before efficiencies have an impact

DM mobile-centric: The heavy spending to assure a lead in 4G is slowing as operators pursue RoI and fibre partnerships

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