LTE-TDD Has a Lower Total Cost of Ownership than LTE-FDD

24 Sep 2013

LTE-TDD will go mainstream in 2014, and it is not just about China Mobile’s recently announced commitment to spend $3.3 billion on rolling out 207,000 LTE-TDD base stations. In the US, Clearwire is anticipated to have rolled out 5,000 LTE-TDD base stations which will play a complementary role in Sprint’s overall LTE service plans. Around the world, there are 60 LTE-TDD deployments, of which 21 have commercially launched.

“As a result of this ramp up in LTE-TDD deployments, pops coverage has surpassed 18.5% of the population by September 2013 and should eclipse 49% by 2018,” observed Jake Saunders, VP and practice director at ABI Research. Keynote LTE-TDD commercial services are taking shape in Japan (SoftBank), India (Airtel), Australia (Optus), etc.

Mobile carriers are sitting up and taking interest in LTE-TDD for a number of reasons:

  • Flexibility of spectrum deployment – A single band of up 20 MHz can handle up and down traffic.
  • Spectrum costs – Securing FDD spectrum has had a premium over TDD spectrum.
  • Flexibility of deployment – LTE-TDD can be deployed as a complete network solution, as a hybrid FDD/TDD LTE network, a backhaul solution, or a network extension for a WiMAX network.

One of the key strengths of LTE-TDD is the cost of spectrum issued, which has been 44% cheaper than LTE-FDD spectrum. Due to significant contract awards in China, USA, Russia, and Japan, cost of LTE-TDD equipment has effectively reached parity with LTE-FDD equipment. For a stand-alone LTE-TDD vs. LTE-FDD network, Total Cost of Ownership is 13% lower for a LTE-TDD network. In terms of backhaul, LTE-TDD can provide a 33% saving over Point-To-Point Microwave solutions and a 43% saving over fiber. “LTE-TDD is attractive to carriers as a flexible and cost-effective solution,” added Jake Saunders.

Telecoms infrastructure vendors are gearing up to supply the LTE-TDD networks. ABI Research has conducted a Competitive Assessment of the LTE-TDD suppliers in which Huawei came out top in the Innovation vs. Implementation ranking, followed by NSN and Ericsson. All three vendors have robust infrastructure solutions but Huawei’s success in securing over 36 deployment contracts, strong IP holdings and R&D investment, benefitted Huawei.

ABI Research’s “Total Cost of Ownership: LTE-FDD vs. LTE-TDD” Report, is part of the LTE Research Service.

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 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit, or call +1.516.624.2500.

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司,拥有得天独厚的优势,充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁,通过提供独家研究和专业性指导,推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略,无缝连接这两大主体。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit

Contact ABI Research

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670

Related Service