Although the migration path to long term evolution or LTE has been slow, mobile operators continue to make progress towards LTE deployment. To see where it stands today, market research firm Infonetics Research (News - Alert) conducted a survey for its LTE deployment strategies report. For that, the market watcher interviewed incumbent, competitive, and mobile operators and asked them about their LTE (News - Alert) network build-out plans, deployment migration scenarios, challenges, technical and commercial drivers, and the LTE services, features, and devices they plan to offer.
The released excerpts from its 2012 LTE Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey indicates that better days are coming for the mobile operators.
In a statement, Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research, commented, "Despite the global gloom, there are better days ahead for mobile operators."
She added, "For the first time since we began tracking LTE in 2008, increased average revenue per user (ARPU) is among the top LTE upgrade drivers, along with spectral efficiencies that are driving down the cost per gigabyte. As a result, operators' bottom line should improve for a change."
Some of the highlights of this survey indicate that almost 1/3 of the operators surveyed plan to use their 2G and 3G networks for voice services as long as possible. And that TD-LTE continues to gain momentum, spearheaded by China Mobile's (News - Alert) participation in the LTE standards process. Likewise, it also suggests that single radio voice call continuity (SRVCC) is on track to become commercially available in Fall 2012. However, 84 percent of the operators surveyed don't expect the feature to be ready this year.
Finally, Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) leads in the number of LTE deployments worldwide, while North America is home to 80 percent of the more than 10 million global LTE subscribers.Infonetics said that service providers surveyed together represent 31 percent of the world's telecom capital expenditures (capex) and 29 percent of the world's telecom carrier revenue.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman