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Stéphane Téral
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LTE survey shows 3/4 of operators deploy HSPA+ before LTE; no rush to offer voice over LTE

 

Campbell, CALIFORNIA, August 16, 2011—Market research firm Infonetics Research today released excerpts from its 2011 LTE Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey.


ANALYST NOTE

"As we anticipated back in 2008, HSPA+ is the default bridge to LTE and there is mounting evidence that LTE is the bridge to 4G (aka LTE-Advanced). The early LTE adopters had solid compelling reasons to move to LTE swiftly but the 3GPP crowd remains pragmatic and will not put the cart before the horse,” expects Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure at Infonetics Research.


LTE DEPLOYMENT STRATEGIES SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 74% of the operators surveyed are from the 3GPP camp and unanimously plan to take the W-CDMA to HSPA+ to LTE migration path
  • The fact that 11% of respondents are deploying LTE as a greenfield network suggests that they are using LTE for a purpose other than a true mobile broadband upgrade, such as a DSL replacement
  • Close to 2/3 of operators don't know when they will trial LTE-Advanced (aka true 4G), although 5% are already testing the technology and 16% plan to trial LTE-Advanced in 2013
  • Operators are not rushing to offer voice services over their LTE RAN, with 47% of respondents saying they plan to offer voice services 3 or more years after launching (way up from 17% in Infonetics' 2010 LTE survey)
  • Half of respondents believe it is very important to start construction of their LTE network with macrocells first, followed by a mix of small cells (microcell, picocells, femtocells) as an augmentation to optimize coverage

LTE SURVEY SYNOPSIS

For its LTE Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, Infonetics interviewed 19 incumbent, competitive, and mobile operators about their LTE network build-out plans, deployment migration scenarios, challenges, technical and commercial drivers, and the LTE services, features, and devices they plan to offer. All respondents are operating commercial LTE networks or plan to deploy or trial LTE by 2012. Respondents are knowledgeable purchase decision-makers at service providers in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), North America, Asia Pacific, and CALA (Central and Latin America) that together represent 30% of the world's telecom carrier revenue and 27% of the world's telecom capital expenditures.


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Infonetics Research (www.infonetics.com) is an international market research and consulting firm serving the communications industry since 1990. A leader in defining and tracking emerging and established technologies in all world regions, Infonetics helps clients plan, strategize, and compete more effectively.


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"Operators are not rushing to offer voice services over their LTE RAN, with 47% of respondents saying they plan to offer voice services 3 or more years after launching."

Stéphane Téral, Principal Analyst
Mobile and FMC Infrastructure

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