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Network capex has bottomed out, but cost efficiency remains MNOs’ key driver

The past two years have been very difficult ones for major telecoms equipment vendors, with an almost global squeeze on operator capex.  In some regions, such as the US, capex is expected to rise in 2017, though forecasts by IHS Markit, and other analyst firms, suggest that global telecoms spending will not get back to 2014 levels (about $353m across fixed and mobile) until 2020, or even then. So while 5G, and fiber upgrades and expansions, will inject some new cash into the value chain, the telcos will remain heavily focused on cost efficiency amid falling ARPUs and uncertain 5G revenue models. Technologies which use capacity more efficiently, and therefore reduce the need to upgrade and expand networks, will dominate…

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