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Analyst: Future bleak for mobile equipment vendors

Posted: 13 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:market future? mobile equipment vendors? 3G?

The future looks bleak for mobile equipment vendors, according to two reports released by Analysys Research Ltd. With one report focusing on 3G network evolution from 2007 to 2012 and covering the prospects for High Speed Packet Access+, Long Term Evolution (LTE), WiMAX and femtocells, and the other looking at 3G infrastructure sharing, the market research group suggests that the lack of a compelling business case for 3G network enhancements, combined with an increase in network sharing, will have a profound impact on the cellular network infrastructure market.

LTE too late
"Mobile equipment vendors may be depending on 3G enhancements such as LTE to secure the future of their businesses, by enabling mobile operators to offer network-intensive services such as broadband services to the home and mobile TV services," said Alastair Brydon, co-author of the reports. "However, our modeling shows that LTE may not be necessary at all."

Brydon also suggests mobile operators may not need the capacity gains offered by LTE, because mobile services will increasingly be delivered using alternative technologies, such as femtocells and broadcasting networks.

He estimates LTE will not be widely available before 2010, which Brydon suggests, is too late to play a significant role in the provision of broadband services to homes and businesses, because of the widespread availability of low-cost DSL and cable services.

Sharing trend
The latter report also notes that T-Mobile and 3 in the United Kingdom announced in December 2007 that they had entered into a network sharing agreement. "This announcement is indicative of a trend that is set to spread as operators struggle to expand 3G coverage and make funds available for alternative investments."

Co-author of the reports Mark Heath added: "3G network evolution is about to change course. With doubts about the viability of LTE, the move towards network sharing could not come at a worse time for network infrastructure vendors. It is imperative that vendors increase market share to compensate for the future consolidation of 3G networks."

- John Walko
EE Times Europe




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