Unlimited mobile data and near zero marginal cost – a paradigm shift in telco business models
September 2017

European winners and losers in 4.5G and 5G – study of 30 operators. Will mobile network CAPEX stay flat in the long run?

Key findings
  • Mobile capacity abundance is disrupting converged operator fixed-line broadband centric business models
  • While data traffic increased up to 7 times the last four years mobile-only operator CAPEX fell or was mostly flat
  • Mobile-only and mobile-centric operators grew their mobile service revenue and cash flow the last 4 years
  • Mobile-only and mobile-centric operator service revenue growth was driven by market share gains, customers willingness to pay a bit more for unlimited plans and fixed-to-mobile broadband substitution gains
  • Converged operator mobile service revenue and cash flow continued to fall across the board
  • Despite the heavy investments in fiber fixed revenues continued to decline across the board
  • The fully allocated cost per gigabyte is a very unreliable (Mickey Mouse) metric
  • Peak speed network upgrades have driven mobile network CAPEX the last four years
  • Ultra-competitive network gear market feeds the flat mobile network CAPEX
  • CAPEX elasticity and the spectrum valuation CAPEX paradox
  • Will mobile network CAPEX stay flat in the long run?
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2017
networkeconomics
mobile-first
pricing
spectrum
5G
massiveMIMO
Telefonica
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Orange
Hutchison
TelecomItalia
Elisa
DNA
Sunrise
Salt
Play
Tele2
Telenor
Swisscom
TelekomAustria
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