Global capital expenditures by wireless carriers will decline in 2010 for the second year in a row because of continuing caution among carriers as they dig out of the recession, according to iSuppli Corp.

Total capital spending on wireless communications this year will reach $120.6 billion, a decline of 1.8 percent from $122.8 billion in 2009—which already was down 8.6 percent from $134.3 billion in 2008.

“During 2010 and in 2011, all the major wireless carriers in the developed nations will be extremely cautious in their investments,” Jagdish Rebello, Ph.D., senior director and principal analyst for wireless research at iSuppli, said in a statement.

Rebello said that he expects subscribers in the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea to reduce their spending, “in the process adversely affecting the revenue streams of carriers.”

The response would be reduction in carrier technology upgrades.

Rather than deploy the successor 4G technology—designed to support mobile wireless access at very high data transmission speeds—carriers will focus on proliferating currently dominant 3G/3.5G technologies to enhance the data rate capabilities of their cellular networks, Rebello added.

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