Definitive data and analysis for the mobile industry
Mobile Operators and Networks

2025 capex outlook (2020 update): the $1 trillion investment

GSMA Intelligence has expanded its coverage of operator capex, with a complete set of country-level capex projections now available from 2000 to 2025, available via our platform. The extended dataset incorporates our assumptions on the investment required to support the rollout of 5G networks, as well as continued spending on 4G, which will remain the dominant access technology globally over the forecast horizon.

We forecast that between 2020 and 2025 inclusive, mobile operators across the world will spend $1.1 trillion on capex, with more than three quarters of that 5G-related. We predict a more stable capex trend relative to previous generations across the six-year forecast period, as operators will try to keep their capex-to-revenue ratios below a certain threshold. 5G investment timing remains critical for those in the mobile industry. Our insight into the capex profile of each country over the next six years, backed up by rigorous analysis of spectrum awards and planned commercial 5G launches, provides valuable insight for all those with a stake in the 5G ecosystem.

This forecast is based on data up to and including 2019 and therefore excludes any potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global mobile economy. We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you up to date with our latest view.

Further information on our view of Covid-19’s impact on the mobile industry can be found in our latest Insight Spotlight. 

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