LTE deployments on halt for Emerging Markets, says Yankee Group


Telecomlead Team:
Despite the hype around LTE network
deployments, the gap between HSPA+ networks and LTE networks in emerging
markets will increase in 2012, according to new research from Yankee


The study reveals that the majority of LTE launches in
both emerging and advanced markets have been with cellular modems.


In addition, the handset ecosystem is not well developed
and devices are expensive, which means tablet and laptop penetration becomes a
constraint on LTE’s appeal.


Furthermore, the report says that fixed broadband
customers will be the primary target for emerging markets new
entrants. They will do at least some damage to incumbent mobile operators.
New entrants are always attractive because they’re new and will definitely play
the most advanced technology” card.


Devices and spectrum are the main barriers to LTE
deployment. The scarcity of low-cost, LTE-enabled smartphones and
under-developed spectrum available for auction are huge roadblocks for LTE
uptake by emerging markets operators, the report adds.


The uptake of LTE across emerging markets is uncertain
for the immediate future.That isn’t to say there will not be LTE launches. Most
will come from new operators or incumbents with new spectrum in LTE-friendly
bands. Some incumbents will launch LTE for branding or competitive reasons – to
be first in their market or combat new entrants – or to deal with specific issues
such as urban congestion,” said Wally Swain, senior VP and author of the
report at Yankee Group.


The report, Emerging Markets Will Wait for LTE,”
identifies 63 new HSPA+ networks that are expected this year versus 55 LTE
networks but paints a distorted picture beyond 2012.


Even with the 101 emerging markets operators that have
either committed to LTE or trialed the technology, there are only two for LTE
deployments on the horizon for 2013.


Recently, analyst
firm Signals and Systems Telecom predicted that the LTE devices market is
set to grow at a CAGR of over 104 percent over the next five years reaching 300
million shipments by 2016. Also, 2012 alone will see shipments increase to
32 million units


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