Light Reading

Integrated Components Accelerate LTE

Simon Stanley
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Simon Stanley
7/14/2014
50%
50%

The latest highly integrated components for both basestations and smartphones, tablets, and other devices are enabling a massive acceleration of LTE. Multiple networks are launching every month, and operators are extending coverage within existing networks, supplying lower-cost LTE handsets and supporting greater bandwidth on each LTE connection.

The significant reduction in the number of components required for an LTE macro basestation is reducing the cost of entry for new operators and driving down the price of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for small basestations, dramatically reducing the cost of LTE coverage in dense, indoor or rural environments. Many of the latest devices already support LTE-Advanced with carrier aggregation, allowing operators to make use of multiple bands to support greater bandwidth to subscribers.

The shift to smartphones with quad-core processors and advanced graphics capabilities, including HD video, is creating a subscriber base that expects low-latency, unlimited, and ubiquitous connectivity. LTE is the only current mobile technology that allows carriers to meet these expectations for most subscribers: 5G solutions are likely to complement rather than replace LTE in the future.

LTE is the world's fastest-growing mobile technology, outpacing both 2G and 3G rollouts. LTE networks are deployed, being deployed, or being planned in every continent and within most countries. Operators are making major investments in LTE as the technology delivers significantly lower cost per bit and a scalable network that can grow to support higher bandwidths and greater coverage.

The market for integrated LTE silicon solutions has seen significant changes during the past year, with many companies making significant investments and others announcing their withdrawal from the market. We have also seen a major push from Chinese silicon vendors to attack the LTE-enabled handset market. The shift to 28nm devices has enabled SoC solutions for LTE handsets and many basestations. This shift has also increased the cost of silicon development and required vendors to have access to the component IP for entire solution. These trends are accelerating as vendors develop next-generation solutions.

Heavy Reading's new report, "LTE Base Station & Handset Components 2014: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis," identifies and analyzes the full spectrum of vendors developing integrated LTE silicon solutions. The report profiles 31 key vendors and analyses almost 120 different products and product families, identifying the key features and highlighting the advantages they hold for operators, basestation vendors, and handset manufacturers.

The report includes not only granular information on the components themselves, but also insights into how the overall market and ecosystem is developing.

Integrated solutions for LTE basestations are available from multiple companies, including Avago Technologies, Broadcom, Cavium, Freescale, Intel, Octasic, and Texas Instruments. These devices typically integrate DSP technology for the physical layer and ARM or MIPS processor cores for the higher-layer protocols and network interface. Separate RF devices can be sourced from Analog Devices, Lime Microsystems, Maxim and Texas Instruments.

Mid-range smartphones use integrated LTE handset devices. These devices integrate dual, quad or octal ARM or x86-based application processors with low-powered DSPs for the LTE multimode modem. Integrated handset devices are available from Broadcom, Marvell, Mediatek, Nvidia and Qualcomm. The most expensive smartphones and many tablets use separate application processors and LTE modem devices. Application processor vendors include Allwinner, Intel, Marvell, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Rockchip. Apple and Samsung have their own internal application processor designs. Altair, Datang, Ericsson, GCT, Sequans and Spreadtrum are shipping LTE baseband devices. These devices can be used in smartphones, tablets and other applications such as USB dongles. Many of these vendors also supply RF devices for handset applications.

The acceleration of LTE is enabling a mobile revolution. The combination of ubiquitous connectivity and high-speed data access will allow mobile carriers to meet customer expectations and grow revenue through new service delivery. This market is a huge opportunity for those vendors that can deliver integrated LTE silicon with the right feature set and those operators, telecom equipment manufacturers, and handset developers that select the right silicon partner.

— Simon Stanley, Contributing Analyst, Heavy Reading


This report, LTE Base Station & Handset Components 2014: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis costs $3,995 and is published in PDF format. The price includes an enterprise license covering all of the employees at the purchaser's company.

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Most telecom and network equipment manufacturers are now shipping products with 100G ports.
In part 2 in a series of blogs on 'Accelerating NFV Implementation,' Caroline Chappell looks at the long-term vision for NFV and how operators can get there.
In part 1 in a series of blogs on 'Accelerating NFV Implementation', Caroline Chappell looks at why OpenStack is set to play a key role in the NFV Management and Orchestration (MANO) stack.
What are the biggest SDN questions facing service providers today? Heavy Reading's Sterling Perrin highlights the major talking points as he prepares for a full day's debate in Denver.
As the quest toward the Gigabit City continues, it is becoming clearer that public-private initiatives may be the key to success.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Potholes Lurk in Indian Smart City Project
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 5/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
Cats with Phones
Too Fluffy to Talk Click Here
Elmer found that his bountiful fur got in the way of meaningful conversation.