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Operators hesitant to deploy service-limited LTE

New analysis by Frost & Sullivan weighs risks and benefits of going forward with LTE implementation

Operators hesitant to deploy service-limited LTE
Frost & Sulliva: Deploying LTE and then limiting users to basic 2G/3G services "is pointless".

New analysis by Frost & Sullivan shows that many operators are presently choosing not to deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE) that is service-limited as a result of the economic crisis.

Opinion is that deploying the 3G+ next-generation network LTE and then limiting users to basic 2G/3G services such as voice and short message services (SMS) "is pointless".

"Regardless of the operator timelines for LTE deployment, there are several pending issues plaguing LTE, including lack of support for voice and SMS, incremental costs for backhaul capacity to support LTE data traffic, lack of sufficient spectrum allocation (a minimum of 20MHz) and a consensus of a globally harmonised frequency band for LTE deployment," notes Frost & Sullivan ICT programme manager Luke Thomas.

"Of all the concerns over LTE deployment, the lack of support for voice and SMS over LTE should be addressed first, as these segments currently constitute nearly 85 percent of global mobile service revenues," advises Thomas. "Key participants of the mobile and wireless industry, in particular mobile operators, should band together to resolve the existing fragmentation of voice and SMS delivery over LTE, so that it benefits all the stakeholders involved."

The study adds that the lack of consensus could be a hurdle to the large-scale roll out of LTE, thereby allowing alternative technologies such as Mobile WiMAX to take advantage of the situation.

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