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Increasing ARPU Drops Out as Leading Driver of 4G LTE Deployments
Enhanced spectral efficiency, higher peak rate, lower latency and the opportunity to build a more efficient mobile packet network were the top 4 reasons for upgrading wireless networks to 4G LTE, according to excerpts from Infonetics Research's, “2013 LTE Strategies and Vendor Leadership Global Service Provider Survey.”
Wireless carriers cited increasing average revenue per unit (ARPU) among the top drivers for 4G LTE deployment in 2012's survey, but that proved “short-lived, suggesting that [wireless carriers] need to charge a premium to recoup the cost of their LTE network investment,” according to Infonetics' principal analyst, Mobile infrastructure and Carrier Economics' Stephanie Teral
Infonetics' analysts interviewed employees involved in purchase decision making at 21 mobile, incumbent and competitive operators spanning the Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific, North and Latin America regions in compiling this year's report.
Taken together, these carriers represent 41% of worldwide telecom CAPEX and 36% of telecom carrier revenue, according to Infonetics. All of them have deployed LTE or plan to trial or deploy it by 2014.
“Installing the access leg of an LTE network or E-UTRAN is going smoothly for many of the operators we interviewed for our latest LTE study, though voice migration to LTE and LTE roaming have emerged as major issues in the core. So don’t expect a massive 2G/3G network shutdown anytime soon,” Téral continued.
Also among 2013's survey highlights:
- The industry is in the midst of a second wave of LTE rollouts, with a total 248 commercial LTE networks in 87 countries anticipated by the end of 2013
- LTE-Advanced is gearing up for 4G prime time, with the 1st commercial deployment launched in June 2013 by SK Telecom
- Heterogeneous solutions comprising macrocells, microcells, picocells and metrocells are gaining momentum for both 3G and LTE networks
- Operator respondents rate Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks as the top LTE equipment manufacturers, with Alcatel-Lucent close behind