IHS: Ericsson leads $13B LTE infrastructure market, but the growth is over

LTE rollouts in China and India fueled a $13 billion worldwide macrocell infrastructure market in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to IHS Technology. But the LTE market has already topped out, the firm warned, and will begin to decline this year.

Worldwide macrocell revenues saw a sequential increase of 11 percent and a 3 percent year-over-year gain. Ericsson led the global wireless infrastructure market for 2G, 3G and 4G gear in 2015, according to IHS, followed by Huawei, Nokia Networks, ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent.

Mobile infrastructure software revenues grew 17 percent over the prior year, driven primarily by LTE-Advanced upgrades.

"The fast LTE rollout ramp that occurred in China Q4 caused LTE revenue to soar 20 percent sequentially, and 20 percent from Q4 2014," wrote Stéphane Téral, IHS's senior research director of mobile infrastructure and carrier economics. "China has reached the end of its massive LTE rollouts led by China Unicom and China Telecom; LTE rollouts in Western and Central Europe are also very close to completion, and in the Middle East 3G upgrades are complete."

The worldwide macrocell infrastructure market totaled $48 billion last year, and quarterly LTE revenue is now $2 billion higher than 2G and 3G revenue combined. IHS said it expects the LTE market to decline at a compound annual rate of 13 percent between 2015 and 2020, however.

As of January 2016, 480 commercial LTE and 116 LTE-Advanced networks have been launched, the firm added.

For more:
- see IHS's Mobile Infrastucture Market Tracker

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