Spending on LTE equipment will exceed spending on competing 4G wireless technology WiMax by 2011, according to IDC analysts, who say LTE's ability to reduce data delivery costs makes it hugely attractive to mobile operators.
LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is quickly gaining momentum as the industry
moves toward 4G mobile networks, and spending on LTE equipment will outpace
spending on WiMax by the end of 2011, according to research company IDC.
In a report issued April 26, IDC
analysts said more than 100 mobile operators-including nine of the top 10
worldwide-are supporting LTE, and such a high level of commitment will push the
technology past WiMax and let it continue growing. IDC
is predicting that LTE infrastructure revenues will grow to almost $8 billion
"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," IDC
analyst Godfrey Chua said in a statement. "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."
More than a dozen new networks are being prepared to go live in
2010, according to IDC. Verizon Wireless
officials have said they are on track to deploy
LTE in 25 to 30 markets
-covering about 100 million people-by the end of
2010. In addition, AT&T
plans LTE trials
this year, and to begin deploying LTE in 2011.
LTE network went live
in December 2009 in Sweden
through Ericsson and carrier TeliaSonera. And IDC
isn't the only research company high on LTE. ABI
Research said in a report earlier in 2010 that growth in LTE networks will help
drive a 4 percent increase in mobile capital expenditures in 2010.
However, WiMax isn't going away. Clearwire officials have said
they plan to offer WiMax service in 80 markets by the end of 2010, which will
cover 120 million people. Sprint owns a majority stake in Clearwire.
IDC analysts said despite
the strong future of LTE, there are challenges facing the 4G technology,
including varying levels of commitment among operators and some issues
What's pushing LTE forward is its ability to reduce data
delivery costs, which is important as data traffic continues to outgrow
revenues, the analysts said.