LTE Gathers Momentum but Spectrum Challenges Still Remain, Says ABI Research

Singapore - 19 Jul 2011

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ABI Research’s market data currently tracks 28 commercial FD-LTE networks, and counting. No TD-LTE network has gone live yet, but commercial launches of this technology jointly developed by China and Qualcomm are getting closer, with the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) being formed in February this year to push forward its development and adoption. The five-month old initiative counts prominent WiMAX players such as Clearwire and P1 as its members, as well as major telco operators in Taiwan, India, Japan, and South Korea.

“The biggest concern facing many operators now is the squeeze on available spectrum,” says ABI research analyst Fei Feng Seet. “Regulators in certain countries have not yet announced any plans for LTE spectrum allocation.”

Countries such as Taiwan will not be ready for such LTE spectrum auctions any time soon, because the 700MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands, the most suitable for LTE, are still occupied.

Spectrum standardization for LTE deployments across the globe has also been a key issue. Verizon Wireless (along with a few other operators in the US) has led the way by facilitating LTE on 700MHz spectrum, while operators such as Mobyland in Poland and M1 in Singapore are using refarmed 1.8GHz spectrum. Several other operators are intending to deploy on higher spectrum bands such as 2.5 or 2.6GHz.

“A challenging issue to tackle will be the ability of LTE devices to support roaming across the various spectrum bands,” comments practice director Aditya Kaul, “but more industry collaboration is expected in the next few years as LTE achieves widespread adoption.”

ABI Research’s “Wireless Spectrum, Services and Technology Deployment Market Data” provides a comprehensive source of information of all wireless network providers, their operating spectra, access technologies and key network vendors globally. Also included in the service is a summary of the major network supplier contracts awarded, by geography and network, as well as population coverage by market and by technology.

It is a component of the Mobile Core Networks Research Service and the Radio Access Networks Research Service, which also include Research Reports, other Market Data products, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices, and analyst inquiry support.

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 40+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.