4G LTE: Room to Grow Globally
Analysts at Dell'Oro Group are predicting that the LTE radio access network (RAN) market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 percent over the next five years. The growth will come as the 4G radio technology pushes more deeply into new markets and countries. Presently more than 80 percent of LTE subscribers are concentrated in three countries: South Korea, Japan and the U.S.
Dell'Oro says that the top LTE RAN suppliers for the first quarter of 2013 are Ericsson AB, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd..
The latest report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), meanwhile, says that 194 operators have launched LTE services in 75 countries worldwide today. A total of 443 operators in 130 countries are now investing in LTE, encompassing 391 firm network commitments and another 52 operators in LTE trials and tests.
The mix of LTE RAN sales will shift over the next few years as some operators complete initial LTE deployments, while others are just getting started. Dell'Oro is expecting to see eNodeB shipments peak in 2013 for the most advanced markets.
Total RAN revenues in Europe and Asia Pacific are expected to generate the highest CAGRs over the next five years, Dell'Oro finds, while the North American RAN market is expected to have the most negative CAGR, as it is the most developed market.
The most mature LTE operators will start to shift from raw coverage to improving capacity and performance at the edge of cell and indoors with devices like small cells and distributed antenna systems. Indeed, South Korean operator LG Uplus has just launched the second LTE-Advanced network in that country. (See SK Telecom Debuts LTE-Advanced.)
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile