Basestation Spending Falls Short of $50 Billion for Second Year in a Row as Market Heads Toward Double-Digit Declines

12 May 2016

ABI Research, the leader in transformative technology innovation market intelligence, forecasts 2016 macrocell basestation spending will decline for the second year in a row, reaching US$48 billion, as operators shift CAPEX to network densification. Worldwide basestation spending will decline by two percent in 2016 and then by double digits each year thereafter.

“The basestation spending decline means that CAPEX is shifting to less capital intensive solutions, including small cells, DAS, and Wi-Fi for densification,” says Nick Marshall, Research Director at ABI Research. “While India will dominate spending in Asia-Pacific over the next few years, North America’s 4G coverage is virtually complete as the region prepares for 5G along with Japan and South Korea.”

The Asia-Pacific region is still the largest basestation market in 2016, but down from its 2015 peak as China completes its LTE rollout. North America will see the biggest declines as deployments for LTE coverage diminish. In 2015, Ericsson led the overall basestation market, followed by Huawei, Nokia Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, and ZTE. But those same companies will face challenges in the months ahead.

“As the 5G technology cycle gets underway, basestation vendors including Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia will face the challenge of replacing lost revenue in the short term,” concludes Marshall. “While the early commercialization of 5G will certainly help to replace this lost revenue, it is not until well after 2020 that this contribution becomes meaningful. Basestation vendors must diversity to make up for this shortfall.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Network Market Tracker Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.

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