Future network operations

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Our 2012 global network study confirms that the way communications operators provision and manage their networks will continue to undergo profound change.

In the coming years, operators expect to face a new wave of capex and regulation as they make the transition to “all-IP” networks.

In response to challenges such as rising cost pressures and dramatic increases in data traffic, operators are increasingly using third-party providers for network roll-out and systems integration projects. They are also turning to managed services suppliers to run all or part of their network operation. Network sharing is also on the rise.

In the coming years, operators expect to face a new wave of capex and regulation as they make the transition to “all-IP” networks. These pressures will push the industry towards possible further consolidation and a wider spectrum of business/operating models.

Background

We conduct an annual study of the market for services purchased by telecoms operators from equipment vendors, with the objective to estimate the size of the global market for these services.

We have collected primary data from telecoms operators each year, using questionnaires and interviews. Since each annual study has been based on data collected the previous year, the report has provided a retrospective snapshot of the market’s size.

Over the years, more than 100 operators have taken part in the study, including very large and very small operations on all continents.

Since our study started in 2003, operators’ combined operating and capital expenditure has grown by about 30%. Over the same period, the network-related services market has just about doubled in size, indicating that operators are funneling an increasing proportion of their operating and capital expenditures to third-party providers.

For the 2012 study, we included forward-looking, qualitative questions in our interviews in order to gain insights into what operators expect in regard to network management in the coming years.