Concerns that the current economic problems could affect mobile operator's long term new technology rollout plans appear to have been unfounded, at least in the case of LTE (Long Term Evolution). It had been expected, given the uncertainty in the market, that operators would consolidate their existing network investments and put plans to move to the next generation of mobile technology on hold. However, according to ABI Research, more than eighteen operators worldwide have announced LTE deployment plans, and one, Verizon, is moving up its LTE rollout schedule from 2010 to 2009.
Other operators are targeting a 2011-2012 timeframe, hoping apparently that the global economy will have moved out of recession in the intervening period. ABI is forecasting that, by 2013, operators will have spent over US$8.6 billion on LTE base station infrastructure alone. For 3G operators, says ABI, LTE will be a key capex driver over the next five years.
Mobile industry pushes LTE
Will LTE be to mobile operators what NGNs are to fixed?