M&A activity was also higher in 2014 than in 2012, with deals including Hutchison Whampoa's takeover of O2 Ireland in May 2014.
Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile are claiming an industry first after completing what they described as the first live field trial of a virtualised radio access network (vRAN) based on network functions virtualisation (NFV) technology.
Alcatel-Lucent scored deals with China Mobile and China Unicom that will have it delivering mobile and fixed ultra-broadband access, IP routing, agile optical networking and network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities, along with Nuage Networks' software defined networking (SDN) technologies and more.
Service providers' ongoing movement to deploy fiber-to-the-premises services is helping drive up FTTx optical component revenues. A new Ovum report forecasts that FTTx optical components revenue will exceed $1 billion this year, up from $953 million in 2014. The research firm said that the demand for PON equipment--particularly optical line terminals (OLTs) and optical network terminals (ONT)--from aggressive carriers in China are driving the FTTx optics market to "record levels."
For the past three years, I've been saying that 2015 will be "the year when you will see small cells ramp up." Six months ago, I was getting pretty nervous because the firm orders had not come through and semiconductor backlog was weak. I felt like a weatherman predicting rain after a five-year drought... everyone wants to believe that it's true, but there is no evidence on the ground. Now, the drought is ending. Mobile operators have ended the endless field trials, and have moved toward reliance on small cells for network capacity and enterprise applications.
Infonetics/IHS expects the 2G/3G/4G mobile infrastructure market to drop from nearly $47 billion to $27 billion from 2014 to 2019.
Worldwide mobile phone shipments are set to increase by 6 per cent this year to reach 1.94 billion units, of which 1.28 billion will be smartphones. By 2018, total shipments will amount to 2.29 billion units, of which 1.90 billion will be smartphones.
Nokia Networks signed a framework agreement worth $970 million (€765 million) with China Mobile that will see the Finland-based company provide TD-LTE equipment to support the further rollout of the Chinese operator's domestic mobile network.
Deutsche Telekom and China Mobile have signed an agreement on the creation of a 50:50 joint venture in China that will focus on the development of connected car services and technology.
If we're talking about a coherent standard--one harmonized ecosystem, supporting LTE TDD alongside FDD--operators and vendors both benefit. Operators get to deploy (are deploying) services in the spectrum they have. Vendors get to develop TDD products (network and client) with global opportunities. Where so many telecom "hopes" fall flat, it's nice to see this one materialize. It's no albino squirrel, but it is pretty cool.