According to research house Ovum, revenues and capex rose last year as the recovery in telecoms continued. Service provider revenues went beyond $1.91 trillion, compared to $1.79 trillion in 2010, and capex increased although uncertainty towards the end of the year put a damper on the growth.

“Economic worries caused budget cuts late in the year, hitting SP capex,” said Matt Walker, Principal Analyst in Ovum’s Networks Practice Overall for 2011, “Capex grew 9% to $306 billion, due to double-digit percentage growth in the first three quarters but declined one percent year-over-year (YoY) in 4Q11.”

Among the top 10 capex investors were two from North America (AT&T, Verizon), China’s three big carriers,NTT, and four European operators with multinational operations (DT, Telefonica, Vodafone, and FT).”

The exception to the increase in capex “came in MEA, where actual revenues and capex were 10 and seven percent lower than expected.”

Generally, however, “signs are emerging in 2012 of a slowly improving economy, and further improvement should help reach the revenue goal and capex growth targets of three and six percent respectively.”

All good news, and if operators address the OTT wars in either an innovative or collaborative way, then the sky is the limit.