ABI: Vendors to face tough 2009

ABI Research is predicting a tough year for radio access network (RAN) equipment vendors. The firm said equipment expenditure is expected to pull back by 6 percent with infrastructure spending coming in at some $49 billion in 2009.

ABI identifies two reasons for this trend. First, deployment cycles for 2G and 3G coverage are rapidly approaching maturity in the industrialized world. There is the lure of 3.5G and 4G infrastructure spending, but 3.5G infrastructure upgrades (HSUPA, HSPA+) are more incremental in value. 4G deployments such as LTE and WiMAX 802.16m represent more than just software upgrades to the network, but won't impact spending until the 2011-2015 time frame, the firm said.

The intense rivalry among incumbent vendors and price-cutting coming from Chinese vendors won't help the spending trends either, ABI said.

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