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Inside Telecommunications: April to June 2011 - EY - Global

Inside Telecommunications: April to June 2011


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Jonathan Dharmapalan 
Global Telecommunications Leader
Adrian Baschnonga 
Global Telecommunications Senior Analyst
Steve Lo 
Global Telecommunications Center: Beijing
Holger Forst 
Global Telecommunications Center: Cologne
Prashant Singhai 
Global Telecommunications Center: Delhi
Serge Thiemele 
Global Telecommunications Center: Johannesburg
Wasim Khan 
Global Telecommunications Center: Riyadh
Mike Stoltz 
Global Telecommunications Center: San Antonio

Global LTE commitments by type

Source: Amdocs, “Amdocs survey: time-to-market grows in importance,” 14 April 2011 (125 senior industry executives).

208 operators investing in LTE, up 98 from June 2010 to May 2011.1

Summary: LTE is showing its mass market strength, yet WiMAX has growth potential in certain markets.

More than 200 operators investing in LTE

Long-term evolution (LTE) technology is on the rise.

  • 208 operators are investing in LTE, up 98 from June 2010 to May 2011.2
  • Countries where LTE systems are deployed or planned increased by 32 from June 2010 to May 2011

Global LTE commitments by type

Because LTE adoption is outperforming that of previous mobile technologies, the GSA has raised its market outlook, anticipating 81 commercial LTE networks by the end of 2012.

On the device front, support is growing for LTE, with 137 LTE enabled terminals announced from 42 manufacturers in June. This is equivalent to a 40% increase in the number of LTEcapable devices over a three-month period.

WiMAX outlook varies by region

The prospects for WiMAX in the wireless high-speed broadband market are changing, as LTE technology gains traction at a rate that is leaving its rival behind.

However, even in markets where WiMAX has established itself through strong regulatory support, doubts remain as to the nature of the business case.

Mobile WiMAX forecast by region, 2010–15

Source: Ovum, “Mobile technology split forecast 2010–15,” February 2011.

Niche markets where WiMAX is making headway include Japan and Korea.

  • Japan’s UQ Communications, which reached one million customers in June, is planning WiMAX deployment for two metropolitan subway networks in Tokyo.3
  • In Korea, KT Telecom’s subscriber base in WiBro, a local variant of WiMAX, grew by 13% in 2010 with services available to 85% of the population.

    Nevertheless, in the light of poor economies of scale, waning support from key vendors and the relative high cost of customer premises equipment, the technology’s mass-market prospects appear slim at best.

    1 Global mobile Suppliers Association, “GSA confirms 208 operators in 80 countries now investing in LTE,” 11 May 2011.
    2 Global mobile Suppliers Association, “GSA confirms 208 operators in 80 countries now investing in LTE,” 11 May 2011.
    3 TeleGeography, “Tokyo to deploy WiMAX on underground rail network,” 23 May 2011.

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