Reports: 3G to drive network investments in 2010

Sales revenue from mobile radio and core network equipment decreased 13 percent in the fourth quarter and is expected to be flat in 2010, according to the Dell'Oro group. Meanwhile, ABI Research estimates operators will spend approximately 4 percent more this year on all network capex, following a 2.7 percent decline last year.

ABI analyst Bhavya Khanna indicated that although mobile data usage more than doubled in 2009, the radio and network revenue didn't keep pace because of unlimited data plans, and the weak economy prompted operators to hold off on investments. Globally, radio and network equipment revenues fell because of a drop in investments in second generation networks, according to Dell'Oro analyst Scott Siegler.

But investment in 3G is growing as Dell'Oro estimates growth of 30 percent in 2010, as operators upgrade their networks to higher data speeds and China embarks on 3G buildouts. Spending on LTE will be minimal in 2010 as operators begin to ramp up investments and sign contracts. Dell'Oro predicts the LTE equipment market will reach just $250 million in 2010. By 2014, that number should rise to $5 billion, but LTE is only expected to make up about 10 percent of mobile network equipment revenue as operators continue to milk their 3G networks.

For more:
- check out this Network World article

Related articles:
GSMA: 2010 global operator capex to reach $72B thanks to mobile broadband
Analyst: AT&T must boost cap-ex to keep up
Verizon holding capex spending steady for 2010

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