Feature Article

April 26, 2012

Analysts Say China's Spending on LTE Expected to Top $11B by 2014

There is very little doubt that in order for companies to keep up with wireless demand, they need to continue to embrace the next generation of wireless networks. These days, those networks are represented by 4G and LTE connections, which are popping up all over the world. 

Most people think these kinds of connections only appear in heavy free market sectors like the United States and Europe, but even government run industries like those in China are embracing this high speed technology. 

LTE is looking like the way most of the wireless and cellular providers will have gone by the end of 2014. Sprint is doing away with WiMax (a slightly different stepbrother to the next-generation networks) and permanently moving to LTE. That company hopes to be done with that transition in the next year or two.  

China looks to move to Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks in a big way in the next few years as well. According to IHS iSuppli China Electronics Research Service, the country will have outlays of more than $11.2 billion on their wireless networks by the end of 2014. 

“Time-division (TD) LTE is undergoing pre-commercial trials in China, which will continue through the second half of 2012,” said Hailin Zhao, analyst for China electronics research at IHS. “However, actual LTE services will start to launch in 2013, boosting infrastructure gear expenditures. The year 2014 will mark the peak of the current infrastructure gear spending cycle until the next generation of wireless investment begins.”

Those who do not pay close attention to what China is doing could actually miss this movement, because the country will actually spend a bit less on their mobile infrastructure this year. Spending will actually decrease from 2011 when China spent $10.7 billion to just $9.9 billion this year. 

The country’s spending is expected to rise about one percent in 2013 and then jump 12 percent in 2014. China started the second phase of their TD-LTE trial at the end of 2011, and by 2014 the country should be ready to focus on LTE whole hog.

Edited by Braden Becker

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