Overall telecom and cable operator capital expenditure is set to shrink in 2017 but investments in fixed line infrastructure will see an uptick, according to the analyst team at industry and equity research firm MKM Partners .
In a research note issued early Wednesday, the MKM team noted that it expects total global service provider capex (including cable) to decline by about 1% to US$314 billion, with wireless network capex receding year-on-year by about 4% as mobile operators step back from major macro 4G network rollouts in the run up to the 5G era.
Wireline capex, though, is expected to grow by about 3% to $147 billion, with investments in 100G+ and ultra-broadband access networks driving that rise, according to the MKM team.
And the MKM team agrees. "We view the expected shift toward Wireline spending in 2017-2018 as pre 5G-spending since it will require a much more robust Wired Optical, Access, back-haul and front-haul infrastructure to be able to achieve the 10x-100x Wireless speed increases over 4G that Carriers envision for 5G in 2020 and beyond," notes the research team. "Another driver of the Wireline spend is the strategy many Carriers now have of becoming video content providers in addition to Access providers," it adds.
The cost of taking a FTTH connection to all of Europe's homes could be as low as €137 billion or as high as €360 billion, if you give any credence to studies from two of the region's broadband lobby groups.
Global communications service providers continue to evolve their networks to deliver the user-driven service models and higher bandwidths demanded by consumers. At the same time, 5G densification initiatives are top of mind around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells needing an open, programmable and highly scalable access technology to fuel the growing demand for connectivity. As a result, 5G densification projects will demand fixed-access networks, supporting fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications that provide:
Service agility by applying modern data center principles aligned with DevOps service creation and deployment
Hardware and facilities redundancy offering unprecedented business continuity
Low latency supporting the rigid specifications of the 5G standard
Network elasticity to support service growth to not just multi-gigabit, but multi-10Gbit/s levels
Cost sensitivity supporting mass market services further enabled by Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS)
With the current maturation of 10G broadband technologies, and the heightened demand for high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity, 2017 is promising to be the year mass-market, multi-gigabit 10Gbit/s fiber services become commercially viable.
NG-PON2 broadband access technology is already in trials with multiple major network operators but is it too early for the commercial deployment of this next generation ultra-broadband technology? In this UBB2020 live radio show, ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub provides an update on NG-PON2 developments and chats to Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre about how this technology could play a role in production access networks in 2017.