LTE drives mobile RAN revival

Analysts at Dell’Oro Group predict mobile RAN spending will increase in 2013, despite slower growth in operator capex relative to 2012.
A quarterly report from the firm notes the market recorded its second consecutive quarter of growth during 1Q13, fuelled by spending on LTE rollouts, which offset lower sales of 2G and 3G kit. The report also reveals Ericsson remained the market leader during the quarter, with a combined WCDMA/LTE market share of nearly 40%.
Stefan Pongratz, director of mobile RAN research at Dell’Oro Group says operators are increasingly focusing on RAN, and predict a strong 2013 as a result. “If we look at the product mix, the launch of commercial public access small cells in the licensed spectrum continued to be pushed out this quarter, while macro BTSs generated year-on-year unit growth in 1Q13,” says.
Pongratz predicts the macro BTS sector will “reach new record levels in 2013 as service providers continue to prioritize LTE coverage and network modernization.”
ABI Research last month revealed LTE spending halted a fall in RAN expenditure in Western Europe during 2012, and predicted spending on LTE base stations will hit $12.3 billion (€9.5 billion) in 2013.