Mobile operator spending for wireless core gateways will exceed $1 billion this year. The growing deployment of LTE networks is the main driver for increased spending on gateways, which in turn are driving Evolved Packet Core (EPC) spend. Wireless core gateway spend is expected to be $1.1 billion in 2012, of which LTE EPC spend will be $588 million.
“There are approximately 35 LTE networks in commercial service today and that number will grow to more than 100 next year,” says Aditya Kaul, practice director, mobile networks. “This growth in LTE networks has almost doubled total mobile gateway network spend between 2006 and 2011.”
The LTE EPC spend consists of P-Gateway, S-Gateway, MME, and eHRPD equipment, which account for LTE EPC deployments in both WCDMA and CDMA networks. The vendors benefiting from the increase in EPC spend include the five major wireless network equipment vendors (Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, and ZTE) as well as router vendors including Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and Tellabs.
According to Jim Eller, principal analyst, wireless infrastructure, “Although some operators are able to upgrade their 3G core networks to EPC networks to support LTE, the majority are installing new EPC networks. Operators’ existing core networks are stretched to capacity by dramatic increases in mobile broadband data traffic and most view LTE deployment as an opportunity to install the latest core network technologies for improved network operations.”
ABI Research’s latest study, ”Mobile Gateway and Server Market Data,” tracks core network deployments for 3G and 4G technologies, including WCDMA, CDMA2000, LTE, TD-LTE, and WiMAX. In addition to wireless gateways (such as SGSNs, GGSNs, PDSNs, S-GWs, and P-GWs), the market data also covers subscriber database equipment, session border controllers (SBCs), and IMS deployments of Softswitches and media gateways (MGWs). The market data forecasts new deployments annually through 2016, as well as operator spend estimates for core network equipment.
This quarterly market data report is included in ABI Research’s Mobile Core Networks research service.
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