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Packet core spending increases ahead of evolution

17 марта 2010

Packet core spending grew 30% in 2009, compared to 2008, driven by increasing smarpthone and mobile data use, according to the Dell'Oro group's VP of Carrier IP Telephony research, Greg Collins.

Collins said that operators spent $1.9 billion on packet core technologies in 2009, compared to $1.5 billion in 2008. He added that he expected that to grow by a further 10% in 2010, despite the attention currently being paid to Evolved Packet Core technologies. Packet core technologies are network elements like the GGSN, SGSN and PDSN. Evolved packet core is the name given to the core architecture that will support LTE networks.

Ericsson dominated the packet core market in 2009, with a  35% share. Nokia Siemens Networks was second with 20%, then Collins places Starent fourth with 17%, and ZTE fifth with 11%.

Collins said that current GGSN's hava a capacity of only 2Gbps, meaning operators need to upgrade to meet the need for higher performance. "2Gbps is not going to cut it," he said, "operators are really looking at 40-60Gbps."

The North American market was the biggest driver for increased spending in packet core, Collins said, followed by Western Europe and parts of Asia.

Mobile voice core spending, on the other hand, showed an annual decline of 27% in the fourth quarter of 2009. Collins said that this was partly because spending in 2008 unusually strong, driven by large softswitch and new MSC deployments in Asia. But there was also a very steep price decline in voice core technology (elements such as the MSC, softswitch media gateways) over the year.

Ericsson's acquisition of Nortel gave it a 90% share of the voice core market in North America, Collins said. Nokia Siemens was slightly off its previous share, and "Alcatel Lucent gained a little bit of ground on a small network base, as it had some success pushing its CDMA customers to IMS," Collins said,

Vendors are using being IMS-ready as a competitive tool, Collins added, as although operators may not be deploying an IMS now, they want investment protection on the equipment they purchase today.

Although voice core spending dropped globally during 2009, Collins added that the developing markets are still seeing large numbers of net additions, driving the need for more capacity to cover that.

Источник: Mobile Europe

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