Report: LTE surpasses WiMax spending in second quarter

Market research firm Infonetics Research (Campbell, Calif., U.S.A.) on Thursday released excerpts from its second quarter 2011 (2Q11) 2G/3G/4G (LTE and WiMAX) Infrastructure and Subscribers report, which takes a comprehensive look at the mobile and wireless equipment markets.

According to the report, the overall 2G, 3G, 4G infrastructure market continues to evolve on strong footing led by GSM, W-CDMA, and unabated WiMAX and LTE deployments, with equipment spending up 25.2% year-over year (2Q10 to 2Q11) and up 4.5% sequentially in 2Q11.

In the 4G segment, LTE (Long Term Evolution) equipment spending passed WiMAX for the first time in 2Q11, with the global LTE market at about $0.6 billion and WiMAX at $0.5 billion, according to Infonetics Research.  Combined, LTE and WiMAX equipment spending is forecast to grow at a 46% 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2010 to 2015.

"WiMAX continues its solid performance, finding growth from network expansions plus new niches in utility networks,” says Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and small cells at Infonetics Research and co-author of the report.  “Despite now being overtaken by LTE, as had been expected, UQ's investment in 802.16m shows there is an alternative 4G roadmap."

"Although LTE and 4G continue to make the headlines, GSM was definitely the 2Q11 reality, with massive capacity upgrades in China and India. In addition, 2G and 3G network modernization with multi-standard base transceiver stations (BTS) continues to be strong and will remain the main theme throughout the second half of 2011," says Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure at Infonetics Research.

The report also found that a cumulative total of nearly $250 billion is forecast to be spent on mobile infrastructure during the 5 years 2011 to 2015.  In 2Q11, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson remain in a tight race in the fast-growing LTE equipment segment, with ALU edging ahead of Ericsson by a fraction in global revenue.

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