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Mobile capex to reach $163.5bn by 2013 - analysts

08 июля 2008

Annual capital expenditure on mobile communications equipment will reach $163.5 billion by 2013, up from $131 billion in 2007, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The market research firm said that economic uncertainty in the U.S. means capex in North America is likely to remain flat in 2008, but players in other regions will increase their investment as they look to upgrade and expand their networks, whether it's 3G technology in emerging markets, or 4G in mature markets.

And spending will likely be highest in the Asia-Pacific and North America.

"Mobile industry spending in the Asia-Pacific area is primarily driven by the emerging markets that are expanding current 2G network footprints and new 3G rollouts; many nations in this region have yet to release their 3G licences," said Hwai Lin Khor, research analyst at ABI Research, in a statement.

Indeed, telecoms mega-markets China and India have yet to make the transition to 3G services.

In-fighting between India's various telecoms authorities has resulted in delays to the guidelines needed for the 3G licensing process, while the Chinese government's pursuit of its home-grown TD-SCDMA standard means that base stations and handsets running on the technology have had to be developed from scratch.

Meanwhile Hwai Lin Khor predicts that mature markets in the region, such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, will focus their spending on 4G technology, service delivery platforms, IMS, and in-building wireless systems.

"North American spending is primarily driven by 3G upgrades to HSDPA/HSPA for the WCDMA evolution and EVDO Rev A for the CDMA evolution, as well activities around mobile WiMAX," she added.

ABI said that most of the world's mobile capex is still directed to voice services and 2G network expansion, given that the majority of new subscribers are coming from fast-growing emerging markets that are rolling out basic voice and messaging services.

"However, there is also increased awareness of the need for early investment to ensure that networks are ready to support the capacity demanded by higher bandwidth data services," said the report.

Still, Hwai Lin Khor said that capex for data services is likely to surpass investments in voice during 2009, as 4G technology emerges.

"ABI Research believes that by 2013, the percentage split will be 28% for voice, 67% for data, and 5% for mobile TV," she said.

Источник: Total Telecom

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