SINGAPORE -- After a rough two years, mobile operators will look to increase their capital expenditure on improving their networks in 2010. ABI Research expects mobile CAPEX to grow by more than 4% YoY in 2010, after contracting by 2.7% in 2009.

Driving this growth will be investments in 3.5G technologies such as HSPA and HSPA+, along with the rollout of 4G LTE networks by large operators such Verizon Wireless and Telia Sonera. The fastest growths in capital expenditures are expected to be in South America, with a CAGR of 10% between 2009 and 2015.

Aggregate service revenue also bounced back in 2009, which will help fund the operators' CAPEX plans in 2010. Globally, mobile service revenues grew 5.9% YoY between 3Q 2009 and 3Q 2008. The rapid growth in the use of mobile data services drove an 8.8% growth of service revenues in North America in the same period.

”The rapid adoption of smartphones will drive service revenue growth in 2010, as more consumers adopt data plans to take advantage of their handsets’ features,” says analyst Bhavya Khanna.

Developed markets such as North America and Western Europe saw more than 17% YoY growth in mobile Internet revenues, a trend that is likely to continue into 2010. Smartphone sales were brisk in 2009, even as the overall shipment of handsets dropped.

“The growing popularity of Internet-capable handsets will drive the increasing adoption of mobile data among consumers,” adds vice president and CRO Stuart Carlaw. “ABI Research forecasts mobile Internet service revenues to grow at a CAGR of 9.4% between 2009 and 2015.”

ABI Research’s “Mobile Carrier CAPEX, Revenue and Profit Forecasts” provides a robust and intensive source of financial and operational benchmarks for both wireless markets as a whole, and the wireless carriers that operate in them. Benchmarks include capital expenditure, service revenue and profit margins.

This forecast database can be found in The Mobile Consumer Research Service.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.