LTE unstoppable as barriers and technical issues wane


Campbell, CALIFORNIA, August 27, 2014—Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 2014 LTE Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, for which operators were interviewed about their Long Term Evolution (LTE) network deployment plans, challenges, and service offerings.


"At last, we're heading to 4G! LTE rollouts are chugging along with no real barriers or technical challenges left, and competition has now become the top driver for LTE deployments among operators participating in our annual LTE survey, underscoring the competitive landscape and increasingly challenging environment mobile operators are facing," notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.


  • 239 commercial LTE networks had been deployed worldwide as of May 2014
  • When asked which flavor of LTE they are most likely to roll out, 50% of operator respondents revealed they will only go the FD-LTE path, down sharply from 90% in last year's study
  • A large proportion of mobile operators do not plan to blanket their entire territories with LTE: 68% of respondents will take the W-CDMA to HSPA+ to LTE path when upgrading their networks
  • Half of those surveyed have no plans to shut down 2G and 3G, and almost a third are unsure about timing for 3G
  • Ericsson and Huawei were mentioned the most of any vendors in response to questions about LTE vendor leadership
  • Alcatel-Lucent got high marks from survey participants for financial stability and service and support, a strong comeback from Infonetics' 2013 LTE survey, where respondents expressed serious concerns about the company's management and financial stability
  • 5G research is underway and moving full speed in Europe, Japan, and South Korea


For its 35-page LTE survey, Infonetics interviewed purchase-decision makers at 22 mobile, incumbent, and competitive operators from EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia Pacific, North America, and the Caribbean and Latin America that have deployed LTE or plan to trial or deploy it by 2015. The study covers LTE network build-out plans; deployment migration scenarios; challenges; technical and commercial drivers; LTE features, services, and suppliers; and includes operator ratings of LTE manufacturers (Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE) on 9 buying criteria. The service providers participating in the study represent 29% of the world's telecom capex and 26% of the world's telecom carrier revenue. To buy the report, contact Infonetics:

Press Contact:
Stéphane Téral
Principal Analyst, Mobile Infrastructure and Carrier Economics
Infonetics Research
(408) 583-3371
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