Communication service provider revenues passed the $1.91tn mark in 2011, compared to $1.79tn in 2010, due to a recovery in both fixed and mobile sectors according to figures from research house Ovum.
The firm added that while carrier capex also rose in 2011, late-year economic jitters depressed growth rates.
Economic worries caused budget cuts in the final part of the year, which affected service provider capex. Overall for 2011, capex grew nine per cent to $306bn, due to double-digit percentage growth in the first three quarters, however, capex declined by one per cent year-on-year in 4Q11.
Among the top ten capex spenders were AT&T and Verizon from North America, China’s three big carriers, NTT, and four European operators with multinational operations: DT, Telefonica, Vodafone, and FT.
While the forecast was on target globally, some regions did underperform. According to Matt Walker, principal analyst in Ovum’s Networks practice, the only significant surprise came in 2011 came in the MEA region, where actual revenues and capex were ten and seven per cent lower than expected in the Middle East and Africa respectively.
“This is due partly to political volatility at year-end which affected some carriers’ expansion plans. On the other side, North America’s revenues were two per cent above forecast, though weak 4Q capex by Verizon and Sprint pushed 2011 capex down four per cent below forecast,” he said.
“Signs have emerged in 2012 of a slowly improving economy, and further improvement should help reach the revenue goal and capex growth targets of three and six per cent respectively.”