LTE gains momentum
LTE spending to eclipse WiMAX investment by 2011, according to IDC report
With more than 12 LTE networks due to go live this year, research firm IDC has predicted that spending on LTE will surpass investment in WiMAX by the end of 2011.
The news follows closely from a report by US-based Infonetics Research indicating that that the global LTE infrastructure market could reach $11.4 billion by 2014.
IDC pointed out that the commitment level to LTE is high with more than 100 operators publicly supporting it, including nine of the ten largest mobile operators worldwide.
Furthermore, LTE can also provide capacity support/offload for 3G networks, making it a complementary technology in the near term.
The LTE equipment race is also changing the dynamic of the vendor industry, with a "land grab" between incumbent 3G market leader Ericsson and the fast rising Huawei, while Nokia Siemens and Alcatel Lucent work hard to remain relevant, according to IDC.
"The world is coalescing around the LTE standard as a result of its promise to increase speed and capacity to address the exploding growth in mobile data traffic," said Godfrey Chua, research manager, wireless and mobile infrastructure, IDC.
"LTE is an important part of the portfolio of technology solutions that will enable mobile operators to cost-effectively deliver more innovative and robust data applications and services over the mobile network."
But despite the optimism surrounding LTE, challenges remain, with varying levels of commitment among operators and a lack of clarity about the provision of spectrum from many countries.
However, LTE's ability to reduce data delivery costs "is fundamentally driving the technology forward," according to IDC.
"With data traffic significantly outpacing revenues, the need for technology and operational solutions that dramatically lower costs is critical to the future competitiveness of a mobile operator," the organisation said.