네트워크 사업자 예측(-2027년) : 2027년까지 설비투자 성장률은 연평균 3%, 6,460억 달러에 도달, 2027년에는 웹스케일이 전체의 41%를 초과
Network Operator Forecast Through 2027: Capex Growth to Average 3% Per Year through 2027, Reaching $646B, Webscale Surpasses 41% of Total in 2027
통신 사업자(telcos), 웹스케일 네트워크 사업자(webscaler), 캐리어 뉴트럴 사업자(CNNO) 3개 부문의 매출 합계는 2021년에 4조 1,210억 달러에 달하고, 2027년에는 5조 7,550억 달러로 성장할 것으로 예측됩니다. 3개 부문의 설비투자액은 2021년에 5,360억 달러로 종료하고, 2027년에는 6,460억 달러에 달할 전망입니다. 성장의 대부분은 웹스케일에 의한 것입니다. 2011년 웹스케일은 설비투자의 10% 미만이었지만, 2021년에는 33.2%로 성장하고, 2027년에는 41% 이상이 될 전망입니다.
통신 사업자(telcos), 웹스케일 네트워크 사업자(webscaler), 캐리어 뉴트럴 사업자(CNNO)라는 네트워크 사업자 3개 부문의 매출, 설비투자, 인원, 기타 지표에 대해 상세하게 예측하고 있습니다.
This forecast spreadsheet details MTN Consulting's forecast for revenues, capex, headcount, and other metrics across three segments of network operators: telecom operators (telcos), webscale network operators (webscalers), and carrier-neutral operators (CNNOs). The spreadsheet provides 2011-21 actuals and projections through 2027, and includes projections from past forecasts for reference.
Revenues from the aggregate of our three segments - telco, webscale, and carrier-neutral - were $4,121 billion (B) in 2021, and will grow to $5,755B by 2027. Three segment capex ended 2021 at $536B, and will likely hit $646B in 2027. Most of the growth is from webscale. In 2011, webscale was less than 10% of capex, but had grown to 33.2% in 2021 and will progress upwards to over 41% by 2027. Telco capital intensity peaks in 2022 at 18% in 2022 and heads towards a bit more than 16% by 2027. Webscale capital intensity averages around 8% for the forecast period, with a big piece of the near-term upside coming from Meta/Facebook. Capital intensity is highest in carrier-neutral, as usual, well over 30% for the whole forecast period.
Headcount across the three operator segments has grown dramatically in the last decade, from 6.48 million in 2011 to 8.86M in 2021; it's likely to hit 10.2 million by 2027. Nearly all of the growth is from webscale, with a good portion of this growth on webscale's ecommerce side (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba, and JD.COM). Revenue per employee is highest in carrier-neutral, and will see the fastest growth during the forecast as data center-focused CNNO companies account for more growth. Telcos, though, will also grow revenue per employee from about $405K in 2021 to $492K as they learn how to do more with less, implementing automation across their operations.
This forecast was last updated in mid-June 2022. Since then, COVID-19 worries have continued to subside. Vaccination rates are high in most countries, newer strains are less severe, and death and serious illness are less common. COVID-19 clearly left a lasting impact on the globe, in terms of the loss of life, most important, as well as (hopefully) a wider understanding of the risks of viral outbreaks. It's not clear yet whether societies are any more willing to invest up front to prevent the outbreaks.
COVID-19 also accelerated trends already underway, giving a boost to virtual work and school, and encouraged enterprises to speed up their digital transformation efforts. That gave cloud providers - including the key players tracked in our webscale segment - the confidence to speed up their network investments. Webscale profits soared during the pandemic. Telcos did not see this same jump. Many did accelerate their cost cutting efforts, closing down retail shops and embarking on layoffs. Telco margins ticked up only slightly in 2021, though. Meanwhile, the telco industry has jumped into rapid deployment of 5G networks in most of the world. Despite vendors' promise that this upgrade would be mostly about software, and involve less capex than before, telco capital intensity has approached 18% over the last two quarters. That's even higher than the LTE buildout's peak.
Putin's war on Ukraine drags on, causing death and destruction and worsening the inflationary environment. Energy prices are especially impacted; the US CPI for energy increased 13.1% for the year ended November 2022. Energy costs are significant for network operators, putting pressure on costs and hence margins. As inflation has spread in 2022, governments have responded with higher interest rates. The fed funds rate in the US is now 4.5%, the highest level since late 2007, and additional increases are likely (Dec. 14: "The Committee anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate ..."). While these rates are well below pre-2000 averages, increased interest rates do make it harder for operators to fund investment projects, and make it tougher for their customers to pay the bills.
The supply side is also in flux. Key operators continue to cite shortages of key components and chips needed to build out their networks, and in some cases labor shortages impacting the pace of network deployment. Shortages mean delays, and often higher costs for a given product or service. Huawei is also relevant. Huawei continues to be locked out of many overseas markets, more so than a year ago. That creates opportunities for other vendors in the "Huawei displacement" area, but also likely increases the costs of some projects.
Finally, while COVID is not a primary factor in business nowadays, it has impacted China in a big way in 2022. The government's zero COVID policy has complicated life for residents, caused shutdowns, and slowed down manufacturing. That worsens the supply chain issue in the short term, and in the longer term will further entice operators and vendors to seek out alternate sources of supply.
The three groups of operators we track pursue a range of different business models, even within segments. Webscale revenue models revolve around a diverse mix of advertising, devices, software, cloud services, and ecommerce. Carrier-neutral providers, to simplify, rent network infrastructure to other businesses. Telcos sell subscription and pay-as-you-go services for communications services, including bandwidth, video, mobility, and enterprise services. There is a huge amount of variety in these discrete market segments. What's more important, though, is that the three segments rely on each other in important ways. Carrier-neutral players get most of their revenues from telcos & webscalers needing to fill gaps in network coverage and accelerate time to market. Telcos rely on CNNOs to lower their cost of operations, and need webscalers to provide services and apps which make their network worth using beyond telephony. Webscalers lack last mile access networks and can only deliver their services to the mass market over telco infrastructure. Webscalers also, despite big capex outlays, can only blanket the globe with data centers by partnering with CNNOs for collocation.
This interdependence will grow. The big cloud providers in the webscale market, for instance, have targeted the telecom vertical and found success; AWS, Azure and GCP combined for about $4.0B in revenues from telcos for the latest annualized period (4Q21-3Q22), up 77% YoY. Telcos are making some big bets on cloud technology as they deploy 5G core networks. Both telcos and webscalers want to provide seamless, resilient network coverage, including at the edge, and can't build it all themselves. As a result, they'll need to scale up their partnerships with carrier-neutral players like Equinix and American Tower/CoreSite. CNNOs are increasingly taking over the "dumb pipe" aspects of the network, and to be competitive and upsell they will integrate assets across fiber, cell tower and data center.
This report includes detailed breakouts for each of the three network operator types. Here is a summary of some of the key findings, by segment:
Contrasting this current forecast with the forecast published in December 2021, the biggest numeric changes include: weaker revenue growth outlook in telecom; slightly faster headcount reduction in telecom; lower labor cost spending for telcos due to a methodology change affecting the US market; a slightly higher capex forecast for webscale, concentrated on the network/IT side; higher R&D spend for webscale; weaker headcount growth in webscale; and, a less optimistic growth outlook for CNNO.