Light Reading
Analysts don't expect LTE handsets to come out in high volumes until at least 2011, and initial devices will be pricey and battery-hungry

LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
3/24/2009
50%
50%

Some mobile operators may be planning to deploy initial Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks next year, but handsets that support the mobile broadband technology are unlikely to be available in the mass market before 2011 at the earliest, according to analysts.

Long-Term Evolution is regarded by many carriers as the gateway to next-generation wireless networks, and, indeed, some are already talking about LTE as 4G technology. Verizon Wireless in the U.S. and TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) in Sweden are expected to be among the first to deploy LTE in 2010.

This doesn't mean, however, that users can expect phones that support LTE to be offered among initial products that can run on the networks. This is largely down to the fact that LTE chipsets are expected to start being sent to vendors in the second quarter of this year, and there is a significant design lag time between getting sample silicon and introducing commercial handsets. (See Gearing Up for LTE.)

"The general rule of thumb is that it takes about a year and a half," analyst Linley Gwennap from semiconductor specialist The Linley Group told Unstrung recently. "With LTE I wouldn't be surprised if that dateline extends."

This is because vendors and carriers may need to carry out more testing of the new phones as they get deployed on the new technology, Gwennap says.

So far on the chipset side, Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) has said that it expects to start sampling LTE chipsets in the second quarter of 2009. LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) , meanwhile, showed off an LTE modem at this year's Mobile World Congress.

LG has said its chip "can achieve wireless download speeds of 60 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 20 Mbit/s." By comparison, the fastest high-speed 3G phones currently on the market download at a maximum possible speed of 7.6 Mbit/s.

The Linley Group's Gwennap expects the earliest handsets will use a LTE modem chip with a separate silicon baseband. This will make them big, expensive, and "battery-hungry," he predicts.

"2011 is when I would expect to really first see mass-market [LTE] handsets," Gwennap says.

"Although we'll probably see some early examples hit the market sometime in 2010, I doubt we'll see any kind of significant volume until well into 2011," agrees Carmi Levy at AR Communications Inc. "Carrier network infrastructure and service offerings take time to build out, and the demand for handsets simply won't be there until the surrounding landscape is ready to support them."

Heavy Reading senior analyst Gabriel Brown thinks that 2011 may even be too early to expect a serious stream of handsets utilizing the new technology.

"2011 is likely to be modems and maybe some early devices, not mass-market product," he says. "2012 is when it will start to pick up volume."

Verizon CTO Dick Lynch told Unstrung at Mobile World Congress that Verizon is expecting to initially introduce data cards, followed by PDAs and the like, when it first fires up commercial LTE in 2010. The carrier hasn't yet said when it expects to have handsets on the new network. (See MWC 2009: Verizon Picks LTE Vendors.)

No. 1 cellphone maker Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), meanwhile, anticipates having LTE "devices" on the market next year, but hasn't provided an exact date. There is some speculation that Nokia may actually launch its first laptops with the new wireless technology onboard. (See Ready for a Nokia Laptop?) — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
FredStein
50%
50%
FredStein,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:08:21 PM
re: LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks
Does this make anyone change their views about WiMAX?
vsomanv
50%
50%
vsomanv,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:08:20 PM
re: LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks



there aren't much of WiMAX Phones around either, except for the Yota ones at Russha from HTC. WiMAX Device Market is dominated by Home & Enterprise Gateways, PCMCIA Cards, USB Dongles, Laptop Embedded-áand some MIDs/Tablets/PDAs. Phones are quite some miles away. The same could be the case as is with LTE. LTE phones are aeons away.




The strategy of Operators would still be inline. All the incumbents and GSM Operators would go for LTE finally. WISPs, ISPs, Rural ISPs and some greenfield guys would go for Mobile WiMAX. The CDMA guys could tilt either way.




However - 2015 and Beyond would only see LTE. And that is when we could see some mass adoption of LTE MIDs, Smartphones, PDAs, Tablets and Phones. Laptop Embedded WiMAX devices is a huge thing - primarily due to Intel and its support for WiMAX. LTE needs to pick up someone for its game. AMD could use this trick to try and obtain some traction.




Any clue as to Sprint's current state on LTE, as they were testing them quite some weeks back.


joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:08:20 PM
re: LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks



WiMax devices were always going to be ahead of LTE. I mean the 802.16e standard was baked in 2005 and we're still not seeing many handsets out there.-áI doubt it changes much for carriers, it just means that 3G is going to be important for a good long while.




I think the really interesting thing is going to be how each standard handles VOIP. Then they can start to move off dual mode platforms. That's going to be years awaythough.




 




DJ


lrmobile_jepovic
50%
50%
lrmobile_jepovic,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:08:19 PM
re: LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks



No, Wimax is still a dead end. Phones have always lagged behind networks, for all new standards. Intel has failed to convince any major carrier in the whole world to focus on Wimax, except the special case of Clearwire. All the big players, operators and vendors alike, are focusing on LTE. And no, Intel is not a major player in wireless. The last year has seen a number of players dropping out of the Wimax race, while Intel has failed to recruit any new supporters. And now it's too late.




Frankly, I think the entire Clearwire project is beginning to look like something of a scam. Being the only major investor in a new technology, in a standards-driven market like telecom, is just stupid. Two years agow, there was still hope that Wimax would gain some traction, but by now anyone can do the math. Like one of LRs columnists wrote. "Wimax is not the new CDMA - it wishes it were the new CDMA."-á CDMA had a market share of 10% or so for a while, but Wimax is unlikely to peak above 1%.




Even if Clearwire will get 2-3 years of head start, and even if they manage to get a few million customers, which is unlikely, the power of global volumes of scale will eventually crush them. A few million customers is nothing in a world with billions of wireless users. The equipment prices for wimax will be higher and the selection of handsets will be puny (remember TDMA?). Haven't these guys learnt anything from the CDMA history?


mobileinsider
50%
50%
mobileinsider,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:08:18 PM
re: LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks


 

I agree with jepovic (good post). Unlike 802.16e,networks upgraded to LTE will be backwards compatible to HSDPA/HSPA+ for a longtime. Also, LTE is most likely deployed in dense metro areas to improvecapacity and may compete with DSL and Cable (and in some cases,Clearwire).HSDPA/HSPA+ subscribers willbenefit from the LTE "hot zones". It will be 2015 (at the earliest)before operators will demand single-chip LTE devices (if at all).For now, 802.16e biggest threat is not LTE --it is today's HSDPA and HSPA+ networks when it comes to mobility and a multi-Mbexperience. LTE is likely deployed in specific bands and devices will bemulti-band/HSDPA/HSPA+/LTE for many years to come. -á802.16e had its chance. There's only so much room on the device/notebook boards for radios. 3G/LTE won that fight.

Twitter/mobileinsider

 

freetoair
50%
50%
freetoair,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:08:18 PM
re: LTE Phones Will Lag Behind Networks
Second that - I also agree with jepovic and MobileInsider (both good posts).
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive