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Communications service provider (CSP) capex was $79bn in 1Q15, or $346bn on an annualized basis (up 4% YoY). This strong spending pushed annualized capital intensity to 19%, the highest level since 2009.


  • Fixed and mobile CSP revenues have both declined for the past two quarters on a YoY basis; combined, single-quarter CSP revenues fell 5% YoY in 1Q15, to $438bn.
  • Annualized CSP revenues were $1,824bn in 1Q15, down 1% from 1Q14. Mobile accounts for just under 60% of revenues, where it has been for the past seven quarters as the two sectors have seen growth rates converge.
  • Ovum’s official forecast for 2015 CSP capital intensity is 17.9%, falling to 16.9% in 2016. We are retaining these expectations. However, since global revenues are trending slightly low and capex slightly high in 2015, 18-18.5% capital intensity is more likely.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes actual capex and revenue results for three types of communications providers
  • Compares capex trends across the two largest provider types, CSPs (telcos) and ICPs (Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, etc.)
  • Explains the importance of China in driving recent global capex volatility
  • Identifies and ranks the top 25 capex spenders are across CSPs and ICPs

Key questions answered

  • How much are CSPs spending on their networks? How do capex trends vary by segment (mobile vs. fixed)?
  • What are the revenue trends facing the CSP market, and how does that affect capex?
  • What four countries account for 50% of global CSP capex? Which ones are spending more and which are spending less than last year?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Communications Provider Revenue & Capex Highlights: 1Q15


  • Further reading
  • Author

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