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Mobile Carriers Gear Up for 4G with HSPA+ then LTE

in News, HSPA+, 4G, LTE

February 24, 2010 – It is not a question of if LTE will be the dominant 4G mobile technology, the question is when LTE networks will proliferate, according to a new report from Visant Strategies. In many cases wireless mobile operators across the globe will implement HSPA+ before transitioning fully to LTE the second half of this decade.

"HSPA+ is expected to be the dominant form of mobile broadband internet for the next five to ten years especially since LTE-oriented spectrum is being slowly released throughout the world," said Andy Fuertes of Visant Strategies. "Carriers will need to deploy LTE to remain competitive in many cases, but today HSPA+ is an attractive choice to solve the smart phone capacity crunch many operators face due to its relatively cheaper investment."

According to "3.5G and 4G 2010: The Move to Worldwide Mobile Broadband," LTE deployments will gain momentum in 2014, although some major carriers will have deployed the consensus 4G winner by then.

"By 2015 the 3.5G/4G subscriber distribution will consist of HSPA+ with nearly sixty percent of all 3.5G and 4G subs, LTE with thirty-three percent and mobile WiMAX accounting for ten percent of all 3.5G and 4G subs worldwide," said Larry Swasey of Visant Strategies. "Backhaul in all of the advanced wireless networks needs to be beefed up as well in order to take real advantage of 3.5G and 4G."

WiMAX remains strong as a 3.5 GHz fixed/portable platform but a lack of support from major carriers is resulting in a minimal role in the mobile wireless market, the report finds. HSPA+ and LTE may be used in traditional 3.5 GHz bands over the long term. 

The report includes annual shipments and revenues through 2015 for LTE, WiMAX and HSPA+ handset/user devices, femtocells and base stations with subscribers and revenues given as well. 3.5G/4G users by region, device shipments and revenues and base station shipments, deployments and revenues are also given through 2015.

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