Report: Bulk of capital spending finally shifts to 3G

A new report from Heavy Reading says mobile operators are finally shifting their infrastructure capital spending away from GSM/EDGE and toward WCDMA/HSPA. The report says Western European operators are leading the way in the trend.

"Over the last 18 months, HSPA has finally started to deliver on the mobile broadband performance promise of 3G," says Patrick Donegan, senior analyst with Heavy Reading. "There is genuine excitement on the part of users at being able to get out their laptops across extensive urban and suburban areas and consistently get at least 1 Mbit/s throughput over the air."

Donegan cautions, however, that the slower-than-anticipated adoption of 3G could result in a shorter lifespan as 4G rounds the corner.  "Just as WCDMA is finally starting to establish itself as the preferred global platform for mobile broadband services, it faces the prospect of being made redundant by an acceleration in the time to market of the 4G mobile WiMax and LTE standards," he says. "These technologies are designed to be deployed in much larger spectrum channel widths and offer better spectral efficiency, higher throughput, and lower latency than anything W-CDMA/HSPA can support."

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