Capital expenditure on new infrastructure and revenue are growing faster in the world's two most populous nations than anywhere else.
"China and India will drive a significant jump in carrier capex in 2008 as a result of network construction projects combined with currency appreciation against the US dollar," said Stéphane Téral, a principal analyst at Infonetics Research.
"Both countries are still posting double-digit revenue growth in their native currencies which, converted into US dollars, creates a big spike in worldwide carrier revenue as well."
Infonetics' capex analysis indicates that the market is in the fourth year of an investment phase, and may reach a plateau this year in North America and Europe.
Large service providers' capital intensity (the ratio of capex to revenue) in these regions is likely to be as low as 12 per cent, according to the report.
Worldwide telecoms service provider capex increased seven per cent last year to reach US$248.8bn, Infonetics reported.
Revenue rose 10 per cent to US$1.5tn, with exchange rate shifts accounting for the majority of this growth.
China Mobile is now the world's eighth largest telco by revenue, despite being restricted to mobile services until this year.
No purely Indian telco is ranked in the top 10. However, world-ranked number six Vodafone has approximately 45 million GSM customers in India, representing about 20 per cent of its global customer base.
Major WiMax projects in India are expected to help drive growth in WiMax equipment spending by service providers, Infonetics predicts.
Asian giants top telecoms growth
By Simon Burns on Jul 9, 2008 9:07AM