웹스케일 네트워크 사업자(WNO) : 2023년 2분기 시장 리뷰 - CAPEX는 전년 동기 대비 9% 감소, WNO 업체들은 AI를 신규 투자 동력으로 꼽아
Webscale Network Operators - 2Q23 Market Review: Capex Dips 9% YoY in 2Q23 but Webscalers Point to Generative AI as Driver for New Investments
본 보고서는 세계 웹스케일 네트워크 사업자(WNO) 시장을 조사했으며, 주요 8개사의 매출, CAPEX, R&D 지출, 지역별 분석, 기업 벤치마킹, 향후 전망 등의 정보를 정리하여 전해드립니다.
최근 12개월(2022년 3분기-2023년 2분기) WNO의 매출은 2조 2,800억 달러(전년 대비 3.3% 증가), R&D 비용은 2,850억 달러(전년 대비 18.2% 증가), CAPEX는 1,960억 달러(전년 대비 1.3% 증가)를 기록했습니다. 또한, 2023년 6월 기준 장부상 현금 및 단기 투자금액은 6,690억 달러(전년 대비 5.8% 증가), 부채 총액은 5,460억 달러(5.4% 증가)를 기록했습니다. 또한, WNO의 2023년 2분기 말 기준 직원 수는 약 407만 명으로 2022년 6월과 비슷한 수준이지만, 3년 전인 2020년 6월 기준 296만 명에 비해 크게 증가했습니다.
코로나19가 처음 확인된 2020년 1분기 연간 매출은 1조 5,000억 달러에 불과했지만, 불과 6분기 후인 2021년 3분기에는 2조 달러에 육박하는 등 웹 스케일 시장이 급성장했습니다. 이 놀라운 성장세는 거시경제 문제(인플레이션과 금리 상승), 광고 매출 부진, 중국의 성장 둔화 및 하이테크 부문의 지속적인 제약으로 인해 2022년에는 완만하게 성장했습니다. 그러나 2023년에는 다시 회복세를 보이며 2023년 2분기 연간 매출은 전년 동기 대비 3% 증가한 2조 2,790억 달러에 달했습니다. 단일 분기 기준으로 웹 스케일 매출은 5,666억 달러로 전년 대비 5.9% 증가했습니다.
기업별로는 애플을 제외하고는 WNO 상위 8개 기업의 2023년 2분기 개별 매출은 모두 플러스 성장을 기록했습니다. 다만, 애플의 매출은 기기 교체 및 업그레이드 주기의 영향을 받는 주기적 성장이지만, 전반적인 성장 궤도는 긍정적이며 수익률도 양호한 편. 메타(FB)와 아마존의 2023년 2분기 매출은 모두 약 11% 증가해 상위 8개 기업 중 가장 양호한 실적을 기록했습니다. 가장 높은 성장세를 보였습니다. 중국 WNO 3사도 전년 동기 대비 5% 이상의 매출 증가를 기록하며 전망이 안정화되기 시작했습니다.
This report reviews the growth and development of the webscale network operator (WNO) market since 2011. In the most recent 12 months (3Q22-2Q23), webscalers represented $2.28 trillion (T) in revenues (+3.3% YoY), $285 billion (B) in R&D spending (+18.2% YoY), and $196B in capex (+1.3% YoY). They had $669B of cash and short-term investments (+5.8% YoY) on the books as of June 2023, and $546B in total debt (+5.4% YoY). Webscalers employed approximately 4.07 million (M) people at the end of 2Q23, unchanged from June 2022 but up substantially from the 2.96 million employed three years prior, in June 2020.
The webscale market skyrocketed during COVID. In 1Q20, when COVID first emerged, annualized revenues were just under $1.5 trillion. Just 6 quarters later, in 3Q21, the sector reached the $2 trillion mark. This stunning growth moderated in 2022 due to macroeconomic issues (inflation, higher interest rates), weak ad sales, and China's slow growth and ongoing constraint of the tech sector. The market is picking up again in 2023, however, as 2Q23 annualized revenues hit $2.279 trillion, up 3% YoY. On a single quarter basis, webscale revenues were $566.6 billion in 2Q23, up 5.9% YoY.
By company, all of the top 8 webscalers saw positive growth in their single quarter revenues in 2Q23, with the big exception of Apple. Its revenues are cyclical, though, and impacted by device refreshes and upgrade cycles; the company's overall growth trajectory is positive and profit margins are good. Meta (FB) and Amazon both saw roughly 11% growth in revenues in 2Q23, the best results among the top 8 group. China's three webscalers also saw revenue growth of at least 5% YoY, as their prospects start to stabilize.
In 2Q23, webscalers spent $44.1B and $72.3B on capex and R&D, respectively. For capex, the result represents a 9% YoY dip, and the second straight quarter of negative growth. Growth rates are likely to turn positive in the second half, based on official guidance and economic trends, but the sector does have some capacity to digest. For R&D, spending was up 8.1% YoY in 2Q23, which is a slowdown relative to recent quarters: the previous 6 quarters saw YoY growth of at least 20%. R&D as a share of revenues has climbed as a result, to 12.5% (annualized). Some of this growth in R&D intensity is due to weak revenues, but some due to webscaler interest in exploiting advances in AI, both across their operations (e.g. by redesigning data centers) and in services (e.g. generative AI tools).
The tech portion of capex ("Network, IT and software") has grown as a % of total recently, but other capex (mostly related to land & buildings) is still comfortably over 50% of total. For the four quarters ended 2Q23, Network/IT/software accounted for $91B of the $196B total.
From a separate MTN Consulting study, we found that energy consumption by webscalers in 2022 grew about 16% YoY, to 136.6 terawatt hours (TWh). That growth exceeds the 3% and 7% recorded by the telco & carrier-neutral sectors, respectively. Webscale energy consumption is driven primarily by the sector's installed base of data centers, which has expanded dramatically in the last 3 years: net PP&E on the books totaled $475B in 2Q20, and reached $657B just three years later in 2Q23.
This report series traditionally breaks out revenues by region for each webscaler. With this edition of the report, we are adding our first regional breakout of capex, focused on the US. Our analysis finds that the US has amounted to between 50-60% of global webscale capex for most of the last decade. This percentage increased in the last two years, ending 2022 at an incredible 65%. Some of this growth is due to a capex surge by US-centric Amazon in 2021-22. We don't expect this dominance by the US to continue. The ratio is likely to return below 50% soon as webscalers expand their footprints in other regions. Spending pickups by China-based cloud providers will be one driver of this moderation.
A decade ago, the webscale sector did not exist. Big tech companies were just beginning to build their own data centers to optimize their cost structure, operational efficiency, and time to market. But webscale capex was a rounding error in the overall market for network infrastructure. That's not the case anymore. Webscale capex surpassed $200B for the first time in 2022. Annualized webscale capex has since fallen below $200B, but that is a short-term blip.
Telco capex is still higher, and will remain so for the next few years. But, webscale capex is far more concentrated, as it is dominated by a few big spenders, and it is focused on a smaller range of product types and vendors. Some aspects of webscale capex are more leading edge; innovations in the data center often impact other types of networks (e.g. high-speed optics for telco backbone networks). As such, the market will continue to be important for lots of vendors - and not just chip suppliers.
Here is a summary of the spending outlook for key webscalers:
MTN Consulting's latest forecast of network operator spending was published in July 2023. That forecast called for $218B in 2023 capex, and $222B in 2024. This forecast remains valid. We expect to revisit the forecast at the end of 4Q23.