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LTE market to reach $11.4 billion by 2014

Research points to solid growth for LTE sector as deployments gather pace.

LTE market to reach $11.4 billion by 2014
Data demand from wireless devices is likely to help drive demand for LTE networks.

The global LTE infrastructure market is forecast to reach $11.4 billion by 2014, with at least 12 LTE launches due to be live by the end of 2010, according to research by US-based Infonetics Research.

The research sounded an upbeat note for the LTE industry after some analysts predicted a cooling of growth amid the economic slowdown, with some operators indicating that they would look to extract more life from their existing infrastructure.

“Despite NTT DoCoMo’s shift in topology aimed at cutting LTE deployment costs by leveraging the existing W-CDMA footprint with remote radio head-based expansion, there is no slowdown foreseen in the LTE market, only acceleration,” said Stéphane Téral, principal analyst, mobile and FMC infrastructure, Infonetics Research.

Téral added that in addition to Verizon Wireless’s aggressive LTE roadmap, more mobile operators have committed to LTE, including China Mobile and China Telecom, with a massive TD-LTE rollout expected in China by 2012.

“There will be a dozen live LTE networks by the end of 2010, and the total number of committed LTE launches has grown to 64 so far, with more commitments expected,” Téral said.

To fully support the speeds it promises, LTE will be deployed in dense coverage configurations, with microcells, picocells, and possibly femtocells playing a significant role, the research found.

While TeliaSonera launched the world’s first commercial LTE network in Oslo and Stockholm in December 2009, giving the lead to EMEA, Asia Pacific and North America will drive the first major wave of LTE rollouts in 2010 through 2012, the report added.

The second wave of deployments will kick off in 2012-2013 when the Chinese operators start their rollouts along with the majority of Western European mobile operator.

LTE subscribers could exceed 153 million by 2014, with most of them split between Asia Pacific and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, according to Infonetics Research.

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