FDD-LTE smartphones catching up with W-CDMA 3G: Infonetics

FDD-LTE smartphones are catching up with W-CDMA 3G, said Infonetics Research.

The research report says FDD-LTE devices are now the second largest smartphone segment and are expected to overtake W-CDMA in just a few years.

Infonetics forecast reflects the recent statement by 4G Americas, a global telecom industry body.

According to 4G Americas, LTE mobile broadband commercial deployments have grown to 200 commercial deployments as of August 22, 2013 from 2 commercial deployments in 2009, 16 in 2010, 51 in 2011, 139 in 2012.

There are 250 commercial LTE networks anticipated by the end of this year and more than 440 deployments in the coming years.

Mobile broadband HSPA is commercialized on 476 networks in 181 countries; LTE has already been commercialized on more than 200 networks in 78 countries, with a total commitment from more than 440 operators to deploy LTE.

LTE is booming across the globe. Yesterday, Chinese telecom vendor said it targets $2 billion revenue from 4G gears alone.

LTE-Advanced using Carrier Aggregation was commercially launched in South Korea by both SK Telecom (which included a compatible handset) in June 2013 and LG U+ in July 2013. Four commercial LTE-Advanced networks are expected to launch in the United States by the end of 2013.

W-CDMA driving worldwide smartphone market - Infonetics

LTE’s growth is reflected in expansion of networks and in increasing connections and broader selections of devices. LTE has significant benefits for wireless carriers; LTE’s flat IP architecture leads to a lower deployment cost-per-megabyte, better spectrum management and efficient scalability. Deployment of LTE-Advanced will bring more enhancements to increase network performance and speed and utilization of spectral resources.

Meanwhile, Infonetics Research said smartphone revenue declined 5 percent to $74 billion in the second quarter of 2013 as compared with the first quarter of the year.

Sales of mobile broadband embedded tablets rose 10 percent sequentially in Q2.

Consumer demand for 3G USB mobile broadband cards is softening in developed countries, where embedded device penetration is rising.

Enterprise demand for 3G USBs remains healthy as businesses increasingly seek to mobilize their workforces without relying on Wi-Fi availability.

Korean devices major Samsung retained its lead in smartphone revenue market share in Q2, owing to a record number of smartphone shipments (74 million units) coupled with a dip in iPhone5 sales.

“Despite the noise surrounding LTE handsets, W-CDMA remained the biggest driver in the smartphone market in the second quarter in terms of shipments and revenue, though W-CDMA revenue was down slightly sequentially as a result of declining ARPU,” said Richard Webb, Infonetics Research’s directing analyst for microwave and carrier WiFi.

Lower-cost, entry-level devices based in W-CDMA in particular are growing in popularity, driven by a determined push by Chinese OEMs keen to establish a bigger market share.

Bigger push from leading OEMs Apple and Samsung in China and Brazil continues to drive smartphone unit growth.

Baburajan K
[email protected]