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Wireless CAPEX Returns to Growth in Q3 2010

BOSTON — Wireless CAPEX increased by 2% in Q3 2010, the first year-on-year increase since 2008, according to new research from Strategy Analytics. The report, “Wireless Operator Performance Benchmarking, Q3 2010,” found that the consistent improvement in operator financial performance throughout 2010 has finally flowed through to CAPEX.

This Wireless Operator Strategies (WOS) research, which tracks the operational and financial performance of over 200 mobile operators who account for over 77 percent of global subscribers, found continued evidence of a post-recession recovery in the wireless market in Q3 2010:

•Service revenues increased 4.5%, more than double the growth rate seen in Q3 2009;

•EBITDA increased 3.2%, a significant improvement on 2009, though down from the 5% growth seen in the first half of 2010;

•CAPEX increased 1.7%, its first increase since 2008.

“There is growing confidence among operators that the worst of the recession is behind them,” commented Phil Kendall, Director Wireless Operator Strategies and the report’s author. “Revenue growth has accelerated in all regions in 2010. We are now starting to see operators bring deferred investments back on track.”

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director Mobile Broadband Opportunities, adds, “Non-SMS data services drove revenue growth, accounting for 57% of all data revenues in Q3. The continued surge in data traffic on networks means that it was only a matter of time before CAPEX levels would have to rise to support the capacity requirements in the market.”

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