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Welcome, Capex Disclosure Season

Ray Le Maistre

So you've blanked out the festive season, deleted those pics from your social media accounts and now you're trying to look forward to 2017… and if you're a vendor, you'll be waiting to see what sort of capex trends emerge during January.

That's because this is the month when many large operators provide full-year capital expenditure guidance numbers as they report their fourth-quarter 2016 financials.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), for example, should provide a number when it reports its numbers on January 25: A year ago it said it would spend in the region of $22 billion during 2016.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) reports a day earlier, on January 24. A year ago it said it planned to spend between $17.2 billion and $17.7 billion.

We'll probably have to wait a bit longer to find out about Europe's big guns. Telefónica usually issues its report in late February, as does Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT).

The general expectation is that operators will spend less in 2017, though there are always exceptions. What the operators tend not to talk about in their public announcements is how they'll be spending their capex budgets.

That's why a research note from MKM Partners that hit my inbox Wednesday was particularly interesting. The team there, headed up by the experienced Mike Genovese, expects overall global capex spending by telcos and cable operators to shrink slightly this year compared with 2016, but that investments in fixed network infrastructure (transport and ultra-broadband access) will increase.

Get more details on MKM's view by reading the following article on our sister site, UBB2020:

I expect (and hope) to see other capex forecasts and it'll be interesting to see what others think the trend will be. If you have any thoughts, let us know on the message boards below.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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1/5/2017 | 5:21:37 PM
future is here
1/5/2017 | 12:34:46 PM
Re: What will shine in mobile/wireless?
Already has, at least for Sprint.
[email protected]
1/5/2017 | 9:54:28 AM
What will shine in mobile/wireless?
Will 2017 be the year when macro RAN shrinks a lot and public small cell spending ramps? 
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