Articles by Adlane Fellah
According to forecasts by Maravedis-Rethink, between 2012 and 2017 mobile operators will have invested a total of $34.7 billion in 4G infrastructure and the LTE subscriber base will have hit 875.75 million. Despite those large figures, there could be virtually no profit at all. If those carriers were purely to replicate current service models on 4G networks, data revenues would continue to grow, but would be lower than capacity spend every year until 2018.
During these early stages of commercial LTE development, the mobile industry has been fixated on low frequency spectrum, sometimes to the point of madness. Of course, sub-1GHz frequencies are desirable for covering large areas affordably and are ideal for first wave roll-outs of new networks. Verizon Wireless has achieved 4G coverage in 700MHz on a scale that was undreamed-of in the early days of 3G. However, low frequencies rapidly run out of capacity, which is why the investment markets, and many carriers, have become too dazzled by their appeal in recent years. Now, thanks to the cellcos' new preoccupation--small cell networks--the pendulum is set to swing the other way.