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통신 기업의 운영 비용(OPEX) 분석(2016-2021년) : 네트워크 관련 OPEX는 네트워크 운영과 감가상각비로 인해 2021년에 통신 기업 OPEX 총액의 절반을 차지

Telco Opex Analyzer, 2016-21: Network-related Opex Accounted for a Half of Telcos´ Total Opex in 2021, Driven by Network Operations and Depreciation

발행일: | 리서치사: MTN Consulting, LLC | 페이지 정보: 영문 | 배송안내 : 즉시배송

※ 본 상품은 영문 자료로 한글과 영문 목차에 불일치하는 내용이 있을 경우 영문을 우선합니다. 정확한 검토를 위해 영문 목차를 참고해주시기 바랍니다.

세계의 통신 업계 판매량은 2021년에는 전년대비 5.3% 증가하며 과거 10년간 가장 빠른 성장률을 기록했습니다. 그러나, 그 요인은 코로나 팬데믹 기간의 저성장기에서의 반동, 비서비스 수입, 환율 변동에 의한 것이었습니다. 환율 변동과 COVID-19를 조정한 후의 총매출 성장률은 최근 몇 년간 1-3% 범위였습니다. 이에 반해 웹 스케일 분야 기업은 두 자리수대의 성장률을 기록했습니다. 그 결과, 통신 오퍼레이터는 수익성 향상을 위해 비용 재검토에 중점을 두게 되었습니다. 벤더들은 역사적으로 운영 비용(OPEX)보다 자본 지출(CAPEX)로 인해 많은 예산을 할애해 왔지만, 현재는 OPEX의 중요성이 높아지고 있어서 OPEX가 몇 배 규모가 되었습니다. 통신 오퍼레이터가 성공을 거두기 위해서는 OPEX를 이해하고, 효과적으로 관리하는 것이 중요합니다.

통신 업계 주요 통신 오퍼레이터의 운영 비용(OPEX) 동향에 대해 분석하고, 세계 주요 통신 오퍼레이터 30개사에 대해 전체적인 지출 레벨, 네트워크의 OPEX 기여도, 네트워크 관련 설비 투자, 수익성 등을 조사했습니다.

본문 내 도표

주요 기업의 자본 지출(CAPEX)과 운영 비용(OPEX) 내역

분석 대상 오퍼레이터

  • Advanced Info Service(AIS)
  • Airtel
  • Batelco
  • BT
  • Charter Communications
  • China Mobile
  • Chunghwa Telecom
  • Comcast
  • Du
  • Etisalat
  • Globe Telecom
  • KDDI
  • KPN
  • Megafon
  • MTN Group
  • Oi
  • Ooredoo
  • Orange
  • Proximus
  • Saudi Telecom(STC)
  • Singtel
  • SK Telecom
  • Starhub
  • Swisscom
  • Telecom Argentina
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telkom Indonesia
  • Telus
  • Turk Telekom
  • Veon

목차

  • 개요
  • 통신 기업 30개사 : 전체적인 분석 결과
  • 기업별 분석 결과
  • 시장 구분
  • MTN Consulting에 대해
LSH 22.07.25

MTN Consulting's Telco Opex Analyzer analyzes the opex trends of a subset of key telcos in the telecommunications sector. The report's dashboard allows a user to dig into overall spending levels, network's contribution to opex, network-related capex, and profitability for a group of 30 individual operators. The report is designed to help vendors understand and plan for the needs of their customers and help network operators deploy their technology budgets wisely. The report's format is Excel.

VISUALS

Capex and Opex breakdowns for selected company

The telecom sector posted 5.3% YoY growth in revenues in 2021 - the fastest growth rate experienced in a decade. However, much of this growth was due to a pandemic-induced low base period, non-service revenues, and exchange rate fluctuations. Historically, telcos have faced flat revenues and after adjusting for exchange rate fluctuations and COVID-19, top-line growth has been in the range of 1-3% per year, for many years. In contrast, their counterparts in the webscale sector have been witnessing double digit growth rates. As a result, telcos have been focused on their cost base in search of profitability growth. Costs include both capital expenditures (capex) and operating expenses (opex). Many MTN Consulting reports analyze capex. That's in line with the traditional focus of most vendors, who historically sell more into capex budgets than opex. Opex is rising in importance to vendors, though, and as a cost category it is several times the size of capex. Further, understanding and effectively managing opex is crucial for telcos seeking success. Telco earnings reports make this obvious, as they highlight things like opex transformation programs, careful opex management, cost optimization initiatives, network efficiencies, and process automation.

This report aims to help understand opex trends in the telco market. This is an expansion of our first opex study, which was published in late 2021. This new edition has expanded the sample telco group coverage from 21 to 30 companies, and added a year of data coverage (2021). This new edition is now based on sample of telcos which more closely mirrors the globe. The regional splits for the sample telco group of 30 companies is spread across major regions with Asia representing 41.6% (of 2021 revenue total by HQ region), Americas 26%, Europe 22.5%, and MEA at 9.9%.

Solving the opex conundrum

Managing opex is extremely important for telco CxOs. The problem is that opex is a bit of a mystery - it's hard to understand across companies, countries, and over time. Reporting categories, definitions, and accounting standards vary widely. This report solves the problem. We have created a taxonomy of opex categories, examined a broad cross-section of telcos, and calculated a detailed opex profile for both the individual companies and the overall telecommunications industry.

Key findings below:

  • (1) For telcos, the network is their factory. The sum total of all network-related opex - including network operations (netops), netinfra (leasing, interconnection, and spectrum fees), utilities (90% of which is assumed to be network-related), and depreciation (85%) - accounts for a staggering half (49.7%) of total opex, on average. For a few telcos, the network-related opex share can even shoot up to 70% (Du, Ooredoo) or 80% (Airtel).
  • (2) Costs related to maintaining the network are one of the key opex elements for telcos. On average, network operations opex alone accounted for close to a fifth (17.0%) of total opex for telcos in the 2016-21 timeframe. This ratio has been rising over the years, and upwards pressure is likely to continue. Further, network operations opex can vary noticeably across companies - 10 telcos spent over 20% of total opex on netops in our study, while at least one telco (Telkom Indonesia) spent over 30%.
  • (3) On the contrary, netinfra opex has been declining, particularly since 2019 due to implementation of a new accounting standard (IFRS 16) that impacts the treatment of operating lease costs. However, an increase in depreciation and amortization expenses has offset this decline.
  • (4) Utilities, content, and R&D opex average to 3.7%, 8.2%, and 0.8% of total opex, with lots of variation around these averages: Airtel spends about 12% of opex on utilities, content accounts for over 35% of total opex for Comcast, and BT is a big spender on innovation with R&D accounting for over 4.2% of total opex.
  • (5) Cost of devices, including both mobile and fixed CPE, averages to over 10% of total opex but surpasses 20% for some operators, mostly mobile-focused companies. Disentangling the revenues recorded from these devices from their costs, in order to calculate loss or gain, is nearly impossible due to telco reporting practices.
  • (6) Sales & Marketing (including non-network customer support) and G&A averaged to 14.3% and 12.3% of total opex, respectively, for 2016-21. The sales & marketing category, though, exceeds 20% of total opex for a few telcos. SK Telecom, for instance, spent a whopping 36.6% of total opex on sales & marketing in 2021 - South Korea is especially witnessing cash-burning marketing campaigns by telcos to provide subsidies for mobile phone purchases. In contrast, G&A has less variation, but can also exceed 20%; one factor is the degree to which companies rely on third-parties for core corporate functions, as well as the cost of insurance, HQ facilities, non-income taxes, regulatory fees, and other factors.
  • (7) Depreciation and amortization (D&A), while a non-cash expense, is the single largest opex category, amounting to an average of 22.5% of total opex across 2016-21 for the group of 30 telcos. This 22.5% is consistent with the global telco market, where D&A accounted for 21.3% of total opex in the same timeframe. D&A costs as a percent of opex for the group of 30 telcos grew from 21.7% in 2018 to 23.2% in 2021, due mainly to IFRS 16 implementation. The same trend is reflected in the global telco market which increased from 20.3% in 2018 to 22.4% in 2021.
  • (8) Labor costs are a significant contributor to a telcos' total opex (>18%), and they stretch across multiple categories of spending: network operations, sales & marketing, and G&A. For the group of 30 telcos, labor costs per employee have been rising, which mimics the global telco market trend. Labor costs per employee for the group of 30 rose from $47K in 2016 to $58.9K in 2021, vs. $48K in 2016 to $58K for the global telco market. Telcos are reshaping their workforces right now, cutting headcount, retraining existing employees, and hiring new ones with skills more attuned to the "software is eating the world" era. Variations in the average cost of an employee are one important factor in gauging the pace of automation within a telco.

Implications

Many of the above results will not be surprising to those who track telcos closely. However, putting a credible number on a "gut feel" is a leap forward from the status quo. Vendors need to be able to position themselves effectively to customers. Telcos and analysts tracking them need to have an apples to apples comparison of how their costs compare to peers.

As far as public reporting goes, this study alone may not impact telcos' opacity and inconsistency around opex. These practices have historic roots, in some cases, and old habits can be hard to break. But observers should recognize that the practices are often self-serving, and just because a company says an initiative saved money, doesn't mean it really did. Company execs in every industry tend to dress up their financial results to look as attractive as possible, and telecom is no different.

Next steps in our research

This study is based on a deep dive into the financials of 30 significant telcos*: their size, region, business model, cost structure and other factors vary, allowing us to generalize based on their results. However, we will be expanding the size of the sample in the first-half of 2023, and also updating the timeframe to include 2022 results.

* Companies included: Advanced Info Service (AIS), Airtel, Batelco, BT, Charter Communications, China Mobile, Chunghwa Telecom, Comcast, Du, Etisalat, Globe Telecom, KDDI, KPN, Megafon, MTN Group, Oi, Ooredoo, Orange, Proximus, Saudi Telecom (STC), Singtel, SK Telecom, Starhub, Swisscom, Telecom Argentina, Telecom Italia, Telkom Indonesia, Telus, Turk Telekom, and Veon.

Operator coverage:

  • Advanced Info Service (AIS)
  • Airtel
  • Batelco
  • BT
  • Charter Communications
  • China Mobile
  • Chunghwa Telecom
  • Comcast
  • Du
  • Etisalat
  • Globe Telecom
  • KDDI
  • KPN
  • Megafon
  • MTN Group
  • Oi
  • Ooredoo
  • Orange
  • Proximus
  • Saudi Telecom (STC)
  • Singtel
  • SK Telecom
  • Starhub
  • Swisscom
  • Telecom Argentina
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telkom Indonesia
  • Telus
  • Turk Telekom
  • Veon

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Results for Group of 30 Telcos
  • Results by Company
  • Taxonomy
  • About

FIGURES & CHARTS

  • 1. Capex and Opex as % of Revenues - Group of 30
  • 2. Network-related capex and opex in 2016-21: Group of 30 (% revenues)
  • 3. Opex by category, 2016-21 average
  • 4. Network-related opex categories as % of total opex, 2016-21
  • 5. All network-related opex, % total
  • 6. Profit margins for group of 30 telcos, 2016-21 average
  • 7. Labor costs as a % of total opex
  • 8. Labor costs per employee (US$K)
  • 9. Opex items by company, % total opex: 2021
  • 10. Profitability margins by company, 2021
  • 11. Company-level revenue (US$M) and capital intensity
  • 12. Company-level network-related capex and opex in 2016-21
  • 13. Company-level opex by category, 2016-21 average
  • 14. Company-level network-related opex categories, as % of total opex, 2016-21
  • 15. Company-level all network-related opex as % of total opex
  • 16. Labor costs per employee (US$K): company vs. global telco average
  • 17. Labor costs as a % of total opex: company vs. global telco average
  • 18. Average profit margins, 2016-21: company vs. global telco average
  • 19. Company-level profitability trends, 2016-21
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