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Total communications industry capex increased to $415bn, driven by steady growth of fixed and mobile telecom operators along with rapid growth shown by internet content providers (ICPs).


  • The aggregate CP revenues grew 6.7% in 1Q18; ICP growth and improved CSP results were key. Fixed CSP revenue growth was 2.5% while mobile CSP revenue growth was 3.2% in 1Q18.
  • In 1Q18, mobile capex increased 2% YoY as mobile operators invest towards network expansion and 5G-related initiatives. Fixed CSP capex grew 1% in 1Q18. With initial 5G commercial rollouts expected in 2H18, CSP capex will continue to grow rapidly. ICP capex for rolling 12 months has risen by 24% in 1Q18.
  • Fixed capital intensity was at 19.2% while mobile capital intensity was 15.7% in 1Q18. Capital intensity of ICPs is increasing rapidly.

Features and Benefits

  • Assesses recent capex trends for four types of service providers – CSPs (both fixed and mobile), ICPs, and CNPs – accounting for $3.1tn in annual revenues.
  • Examines growth rates and market share data for planning, competitive intelligence, and marketing.
  • Assesses near-term outlook for CP capex and the vendors selling into the market.
  • Identifies key trends shaping major capex projects in 2018.

Key questions answered

  • Which communications provider segments saw revenue growth in 1Q18?
  • Which segments and companies are spending the most on their networks, and how is that changing over time?
  • What is driving growth in the ICP sector, and how are these companies impacting the broader communications tech industry?

Table of contents


  • Introduction
  • Download 1: Communications Provider Revenue & Capex Highlights: 1Q18