Telecom Lead India: The capital spending (Capex) on LTE / 4G base stations will touch $12.3 billion in 2013.
Besides large telecom operators’ Capex on LTE, deployments by government-sponsored initiatives in Rwanda and private players in Sri Lanka will drive the growth.
LTE / 4G has helped to reverse the downward trend in RAN expenditure in Western Europe last year and will do the same in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Middle East in 2013 and Africa in 2014.
Operators in the developed markets will also invest a larger proportion of their RAN spend on LTE small cells, which will yield significant savings on Capex in addition to increased capacity for wireless operators.
Besides tangible infrastructure, intangible LTE spectrum licenses also have cost operators dearly. For example, the 4G mobile spectrum license acquired by France’s SFR constituted 38.9 percent of its Capex last year, said Ying Kang Tan, research associate at ABI Research.
2013 will see a sharp reduction in China Mobile’s 3G investments in TD-SCDMA.
In other markets, 3G equipment spend has already declined. 2014 should see rising wireless investment as 4G deployment and capacity build-up gain momentum.