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Communications provider (CP) capex will total $2.1 trillion in 2016–20. CSPs’ share of capital spending will fall from 82% this year to 74% in 2020, while spending by Internet content providers (ICPs) will rise to almost a quarter of CP capex by 2020.


  • CSP revenues have been weak for several years, flattening in the $1.84–1.85bn range from 2012–14, and we expect sales in 2015 to show a 5% decline.
  • CSP capex will fall from $339bn in 2014 to $329bn in 2015, with further small declines through 2017. Capex starts to grow again in 2018, back up to above $350bn by 2020.
  • ICPs represent significant, growing opportunities for vendors selling technology. Their capex is already about $65bn in 2015, up from $33bn in 2011. ICP capex should reach $110bn by 2020, on a likely revenue base of $1.4 trillion.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes where capex and revenues are growing, by region, country, and segment
  • Presents a full forecast for four industry segments: fixed CSPs, mobile CSPs, ICPs, and CNPs
  • Assesses importance of new markets relative to the CSP market

Key questions answered

  • Where are the best opportunities for vendors selling network infrastructure, software, and professional services to mobile and wireline service providers?
  • What are the regional differences in revenue and capex growth rates and capital intensities? Are regions converging over time?
  • How fast are fixed revenues eroding? Is the rate of mobile revenue growth slowing down? How does the change in growth vary by region?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Communications Provider Revenue & Capex Forecast: 2015–20


  • Further reading
  • Author

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