TD-LTE technology cost effective for 4G services than FD-LTE: ABI Research


TD-LTE technology, which are used by Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm, are cost effective for rolling out 4G services than FD-LTE which is more prominent in the world, ABI Research said.

ABI Research is citing three reasons: First, a single band of up 20 MHz can handle up and down traffic. Second, securing FDD spectrum has had a premium over TDD spectrum. Third, TD-LTE can be deployed as a complete network solution, as a hybrid FDD/TDD LTE network, a backhaul solution, or a network extension for a WiMAX network.

It is not known whether China Mobile which is heavily investing in 4G using the TD-LTE technologies is using this technology due to its cost benefits.

Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm bagged the BWA (broadband wireless spectrum) with the aim of launching WiMax services. But decided later to drop WiMax projects and launch 4G services. The service of Reliance Jio Infocomm is not available, while Airtel launched 4G in 4 telecom locations in India.

China Mobile, the world’s largest telecom operator, is spending $3.3 billion on rolling out 207,000 LTE-TDD base stations.

LTE Tower

More telecoms are joining the TD-LTE bandwagon. In the US, Clearwire is anticipated to have rolled out 5,000 LTE-TDD base stations which will play a complementary role in Sprint’s overall LTE service plans. Around the world, there are 60 LTE-TDD deployments, of which 21 have commercially launched.

LTE-TDD pops coverage has surpassed 18.5 percent of the population by September 2013 and should eclipse 49 percent by 2018.

Keynote LTE-TDD commercial services are taking shape in Japan (SoftBank), India (Airtel), Australia (Optus), etc.

TD-LTE benefits

One of the key strengths of LTE-TDD is the cost of spectrum issued, which has been 44 percent cheaper than LTE-FDD spectrum.

Due to significant contract awards in China, USA, Russia, and Japan, cost of LTE-TDD equipment has effectively reached parity with LTE-FDD equipment.

Total Cost of Ownership is 13 percent lower for a LTE-TDD network. In terms of backhaul, LTE-TDD can provide a 33 percent saving over Point-To-Point Microwave solutions and a 43 percent saving over fiber.

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