The global market for LTE equipment could be stymied by regional fragmentation in the frequency bands used for the 4G technology, Informa Telecoms & Media warns.
Fresh research by the firm reveals up to ten separate frequency combinations of frequencies are planned across the world, prompting concerns that some combinations will be overlooked by vendors if restricted to just one or two global markets.
“Given the design and integration constraints associated with providing multiband support for LTE, device vendors and chipset providers in particular will want to consider the size of the global addressable market for each band, as well as regional band adoption patterns and band pairings, before configuring their products to support specific band combinations,” principal device analyst Malik Saadi argues.
The firm predicts the 700MHz band is likely to attract only a few carriers outside the Americas, with a similar outlook for 900MHz frequencies currently used in early networks in Sweden. Europe’s preference for 2600MHz FDD frequencies is unlikely to be replicated in Asia Pacific, where TDD variants are flavor of the month, while the 1900MHz band is tipped to remain the preserve of US and Argentinean carriers.
Julian Bright, principal infrastructure analyst, notes the variety of bands means carriers will be distracted from reaching international LTE roaming agreements by the need to select inter-region and –country bands that are backed by the bulk of LTE handsets.