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TD-LTE, LTE-A to rule macro basestation installations

Posted: 24 Jul 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:macro basestation? LTE-FDD? LTE-TDD? LTE-Advanced?

According to the most recent forecast from ABI Research, TD-LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) are seen to dominate the LTE installed base of macro basestations as early as 2015. The growth is driven service providers such as SK Telecom upgrading their networks to LTE-A, and China Mobile deploying a TD-LTE network and issuing a huge tender for over 200,000 base stations, noted the market analytics firm.

While FD-LTE will continue to represent a majority of LTE installations it is the rapid growth in LTE-A and TD-LTE subscriptions which will drive this change. By 2018, ABI Research forecasts that there will be 1.467 billion LTE subscriptions worldwide. Of those, 34 per cent will be on LTE-A (Release 10+) networks, while 42 per cent and 24 per cent will be on the older Release 8/9 LTE-FDD and LTE-TDD networks, respectively.

"The rapid uptake in LTE-A comes as a result of the evolutionary nature of the LTE standards and the relative ease with which installed LTE basestations can be upgraded," said Nick Marshall, principal analyst at ABI Research. "LTE-Advanced will progress in a phased rollout with Carrier Aggregation implemented first, followed by the eICIC, CoMP, Enhanced MIMO and HetNet support features which will all help operators address the upsurge in network traffic."

Although Japan, South Korea and China in the Asia-Pacific region will have the largest LTE macro basestation installed base in 2015, followed by Western Europe and North America, it is North America that will account for the majority of the LTE-A installed base, driven by operators such as Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile/MetroPCS and Softbank/Sprint that all have hinted at plans to introduce LTE-A in the very near future.

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