Telecom operators to consider voice over LTE after 3-4 years

Telecom operators are not rushing to offer voice services over their LTE RAN, with 47 percent of respondents saying they would offer voice services 3 or more years after launching, according to Infonetics Research.


This is substantially above 17 percent as per Infonetics’ 2010 LTE survey.


Around 74 percent of the operators surveyed are from the 3GPP camp and unanimously plan to take the W-CDMA to HSPA+ to LTE migration path.


The fact that 11 percent of respondents are deploying LTE as a greenfield network suggests that they are using LTE for a purpose other than a true mobile broadband upgrade, such as a DSL replacement.


Close to 2/3 of operators don’t know when they will trial LTE-Advanced (aka true 4G), although 5 percent are already testing the technology and 16 percent plan to trial LTE-Advanced in 2013, according to excerpts from Infonetics Research’s 2011 LTE Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey.


And half of respondents believe it is very important to start construction of their LTE network with macrocells first, followed by a mix of small cells (microcell, picocells, femtocells) as an augmentation to optimize coverage.


As we anticipated back in 2008, HSPA+ is the default bridge to LTE and there is mounting evidence that LTE is the bridge to 4G (aka LTE-Advanced). The early LTE adopters had solid compelling reasons to move to LTE swiftly but the 3GPP crowd remains pragmatic and will not put the cart before the horse,” said Stephane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure, Infonetics Research.


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