Driven by 5G technologies, global wireline capex may pass $144B by 2019

The winds of change continue blowing for the global wireline telecom industry: An International Telecommunications Union (ITU) report sees continued capital expenditures for fiber infrastructure, reaching $144.2 billion between 2014 and 2019, as next-generation technologies and particularly 5G make demands on the wireline network.

In the face of additional demand for fiber buildouts such as FTTT (fiber to the tower) and other backhaul infrastructure, telcos are getting smarter about pulling together funding sources.

"Investment in broadband infrastructure is also coming from more unlikely institutions such as hedge funds or corporates that do not traditionally invest in telecoms infrastructure," the ITU said in a release announcing a new report, "Trends In Telecommunication Reform 2016." The study provides insights into the regulatory, financial and infrastructure issues facing the overall information and communications technology (ICT) market.

In the U.S., fiber network buildouts have been increasingly led by smaller service and transport providers like Level 3 Communications and Zayo Group. Business services have been key drivers of fiber buildouts.

Meantime, Google Fiber has been forced to change its FTTH model in at least one community, dropping its "free" broadband option in Kansas City, Mo. And while Verizon recently agreed to expand its FiOS network into Boston, the carrier is steadfastly refusing to build out its FTTH network any further, preferring to focus on increasing subscriber numbers and penetration on its existing build.

For more:
- see this ITU release

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