ABI Research expects that total worldwide wireless operator CAPEX will increase by 5.9% by the end of 2014, a slower rate than 2013. The number will reach US$185.5 billion as large capital expenditure is expected in developing regions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.
ABI Research expects that radio access networks (RAN) and core networks will continue to represent significant portions of equipment spend. The spending on macrocell RAN is expected to reach US$37 billion by the end of 2014, while spending on small cell RAN will reach US$2.1 billion. On the other hand, core network spending will continue to drop by 0.1%. “In mature markets, a growing proportion of equipment spend is geared towards small cell and Wi-Fi hotspots installation, as mobile device usage in dense urban areas increases,” comments Lian Jye Su, Research Associate of Core Forecasting. ABI Research expects equipment spend on microwave backhaul and in-building wireless to increase by 40% and 14% respectively by the end of 2014.
Meanwhile, ABI Research believes mobile operators’ operating expenditure will continue to rise, but at a smaller rate compared to previous years. Mobile operators are actively reducing their operating cost through tower outsourcing agreements, e.g. MTN Nigeria transferred its tower business to IHS and allowed IHS to have full control over 9,151 towers. At the same time, Bharti Airtel sold 3,500 towers to Helios Towers, raising US$2 billion in the sale. “The outsourcing of tower maintenance allows operators to focus on their core businesses, while tower companies will be able to achieve economies of scale through the large number of towers they acquired,” adds Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director of Core Forecasting.
ABI Research’s Mobile Operator CAPEX Market Data focuses on the regional and global mobile operator capital expenditure, equipment spend, and operating costs. It is part of ABI Research’s Mobile Deployments, CAPEX, and Traffic Market Research.
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