Study: Capital investment improves network performance, giving better returns

Press release
May 07, 2014 08:00 (GMT +00:00)
  • Study demonstrates that investments in network quality do translate into better financial returns for operators, not only from cost savings but also from increased revenue
  • Study shows network investments generate 5.5 percent increase in service revenues and a 6.4 percent improvement of EBITDA margin in a case of a 10% increase in capital expenditure for an operator in Brazil
  • Decrease of 1 percentage point in overall churn leads to a 6.86 percent increase in service revenues

A new study commissioned by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) shows that increased level of investments in network quality and performance create sustainable competitive advantages and improved financial returns for network operators.

The study, carried out by Dr. Raul Katz, President of Telecom Advisory Services, and Director of Business Strategy Research, Columbia Business School, explored the relationship between capital investments in mobile telecom networks and the technical, commercial and financial performance of operators.

Dr. Katz performed extensive statistical analysis, across a large set of metrics, on three years of quarterly data from three different markets -- Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

A simulation model was constructed to estimate the effects of increased capital expenditure on mobile operators' free cash flows, allowing operators to assess the commercial and financial gains attributable to the increased investments.

The study found that a 10 percent increase in capital expenditure for a Brazilian operator resulted in increased market share, a significant boost to ARPU and reduced churn. Given this enhanced commercial performance, the operator should experience a 5.5 percent increase in service revenues, a 6.4 percentage point improvement in EBITDA margin, and a 6.7 percent increase in free cash flow from operations.

The analysis of Mexico and the US shows the same robust relationships between investments, performance and finances as in Brazil, but Dr. Katz also found differences exist in the way the causality works under different market conditions.

Johan Haeger, Head of Tactical Marketing, Business Unit Networks at Ericsson says; "The results from the quantitative study clearly demonstrate what our 'gut feeling' and discussions with leading operators has told us for quite some time: that appropriately targeted capital expenditure leads to improved network performance. This translates into better market performance which is shown to boost financial returns.

"Previous extensive Consumer Lab research has found that network performance is the principal driver of subscriber loyalty. Combining these results clearly demonstrates the link between targeted capital expenditure, leading to improved network performance, which drives subscriber loyalty that translates into better market performance and financial returns."

As an example, a decrease of 1 percentage point in overall churn for a Brazilian operator led to a 6.86 percent increase in service revenues two quarters later. Improved financial returns are derived not only from cost savings, but also from increased revenue.

The statistical results described in the study can be applied in scenario analysis on individual operators. Such simulations reveal that an investment-driven market strategy results in significant financial returns, and also show that the approach provides sustainable competitive advantages such as lower churn, higher market share and increased ARPU. These benefits are largely created before the competition has time to respond.


Link to the report

Download high-resolution photos and broadcast-quality video at

Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society - a world leader in communications technology and services. Our long-term relationships with every major telecom operator in the world allow people, businesses and societies to fulfill their potential and create a more sustainable future.

Our services, software and infrastructure - especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud - are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

With more than 110,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries, we combine global scale with technology and services leadership. We support networks that connect more than 2.5 billion subscribers. Forty percent of the world's mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. And our investments in research and development ensure that our solutions - and our customers - stay in front.   

Founded in 1876, Ericsson has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Net sales in 2013 were SEK 227.4 billion (USD 34.9 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX stock exchange in Stockholm and the NASDAQ in New York.


Ericsson Corporate Communications
Phone: +46 10 719 69 92

Ericsson Investor Relations
Phone: +46 10 719 00 00