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LTE gear market to nab 10% of wireless systems market

Posted: 05 Apr 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:4G  LTE  LTE equipment  W-CDMA 

The 3G W-CDMA technology will continue to rule the waves of the wireless systems market with the 4G LTE gear market cornering only 10 per cent of the share with Rs.23,088.50 crore ($5 billion) by 2014. The wireless carriers are expected to buy as much as Rs.1,108.25 crore ($240 million) in gear for the 4G LTE networks this year as four providers launch new services, according to market watchers at Dell 'Oro Group.

NTT DoCoMo, Verizon Wireless and Net4Mobility, a joint venture of carriers Tele2 AB in Europe and Telenor in Mexico will launch LTE services before the end of the year, said Scott Siegler, senior analyst for mobility infrastructure research at Dell 'Oro.

"The killer app is HD video," said Siegler. "There will be more machine-to-machine devices and maybe even LTE embedded in STBs, but we won't know for sure what 4G devices will come until the networks are up with the data rates supported," he said.

Sales of wireless infrastructure gear is expected to stay flat at $38 billion in 2010 with declines in GSM and CDMA system sales offsetting growth in 3G and LTE. (Click to view full image.)

LTE can support downlink data rates up to 100Mbps and uplinks of up to 50Mbps. Carriers bought nearly Rs.23,088.50 crore ($5 billion) in 3G gear in Q4 09 alone, surpassing sales of GSM equipment for the first time. Growth will continue with the 3G technology representing as much as three-quarters of all network infrastructure spending in 2014, Dell 'Oro forecasts.

China has temporarily slowed a big burst of building 3G nets, but growth could resume late this year. Incumbent vendors Huawei and ZTE benefited heavily from that spending, gaining share against rivals in data and voice equipment.

In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile spent heavily on a move to the HSPA 7.2 flavour of 3G. T-Mobile is spending again in 2010 to move to HSPA+, but AT&T will only upgrade in select areas, transitioning others later directly to LTE, Siegler said. Meanwhile, India has scheduled auctions for 3G spectrum for April 9. The deals include requirements to deploy those nets within five years.

Steep declines in sales of gear for GSM and CDMA offset strong growth in W-CDMA, keeping wireless gear spending to Rs.175,472.60 crore ($38 billion) in 2009. GSM sales fell 40 per cent in 2009 and will decline another 22 per cent this year, so overall wireless gear spending will remain flat in 2010, according to Dell 'Oro.

- Rick Merritt
EE Times





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