Feature Article

November 12, 2010

LTE Infrastructure Market to Grow Ten-Fold in Next Four Years

The explosive growth in smartphones and tablet computers has increased pressure on telecom carrier networks, forcing the operators to deploy LTE networks to cope with the demand for data, according to a report released Thursday by Infonetics Research.

Therefore, Infonetics said it expects the worldwide LTE infrastructure market to grow roughly 10-fold from 2010 to 2014, to $11.5 billion. It has also increased its LTE subscriber forecast as well, now anticipating close to 165 million worldwide by 2014.

The market is fueled by macrocell eNodeB deployments and the rapidly growing number of operators committing to LTE, the researcher said.

The research firm has predicted that HSPA+ will continue as the bridge between CDMA and LTE in the days ahead, but the growth in LTE networks will be robust everywhere.

 "Current networks won’t disappear anytime soon, and early LTE networks will only carry data while voice services will fall back to good-old circuit switch networks before LTE deployments start to ramp up," said Stephane Teral, another Infonetics analyst. "We're still at a very early stage for LTE with HSPA/HSPA+ rollouts, which are poised to enjoy a long tail."

The current mobile broadband market is largely driven by embedded devices and smartphones, with injections of growth coming from new touch screen form factors, such as the tablet, notably the Apple iPad, and e-readers like the Amazon Kindle," said Richard Webb, directing analyst of the market research firm’s Mobile Devices practice.

 "As LTE rolls out, these trends will continue, with device competition intensifying around embedded devices and high-end smartphones."

The market research firm expects a dozen LTE deployments to get underway this year (MetroPCS and Verizon Wireless are two LTE deployments currently being rolled out).

It said 94 percent of operators surveyed will deploy IMS (voice over LTE, or VoLTE), and 39 percent expect to launch a voice service over LTE one year from network launch.

Narayan Bhat is a contributing editor for MobilityTechzone. To read more of Narayan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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