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WCDMA infrastructure revenues topped GSM in Q4

18 марта 2010

Spending on WCDMA mobile network infrastructure equipment outstripped GSM for the first time in the fourth quarter of last year as 2G spending dropped in high-growth markets China and India, according to new figures from analyst firm Dell'Oro Group.

"[In Q4] the steep decline in GSM offset strong growth in WCDMA," Scott Siegler, senior analyst, mobility infrastructure market research, at Dell'Oro told Total Telecom on Tuesday.

Total mobility infrastructure revenue fell to $10 billion in Q4, down at a double-digit level from the year-ago quarter. WCDMA revenue alone accounted for close to $5 billion of the total.

China Unicom was a key driver of WCDMA equipment revenue in 2009, spending heavily in the first half of the year to roll out its 3G network in record time. That spending fell to almost zero in the second half of the year, but Dell'Oro expects another round of investment in Q2 this year.

Meanwhile, 3G auctions in India – scheduled to commence on 9 April – will also affect 3G network spending this year, although to a lesser extent than China did.

"3G will deploy in India by the end of this year," said Siegler. However, "it's not going to be comparable to what we saw in China," he added, explaining that GSM spending will remain high in India as 3G licence winners use that new spectrum to support the rapid growth in voice traffic, rather than new data services.

"These [Indian] operators need spectrum desperately," he said.

Dell'Oro predicts that equipment vendors will start to recognise revenue from LTE infrastructure by the end of this year, by which time four operators will have commercially launched.

The firm sees LTE infrastructure revenue of "$240 million this year, with the majority of [that] revenue being recognised by the vendors in the fourth quarter," Siegler said.

TeliaSonera, which launched the world's first LTE networks in Oslo and Stockholm in December, will spend $71 million this year. Verizon Wireless of the U.S., Japan's NTT DoCoMo, and Net4Mobility – the Swedish joint venture between Tele2 and Telenor – are also expected to launch LTE networks in 2010.

Источник: Total Telecom

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