The growing use of mobile broadband services by handsets, laptops, MIDs, and mobile CE devices will place ever-increasing demands on 3G networks that can only be addressed by 4G networks and the use of fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) according to a new report from ABI Research.
The report suggests that capital expenditure by mobile operators on 4G base station gateways and FMC-related carrier equipment will approach $850 million in 2013.
“FMC is not just about relieving networks’ voice traffic congestion, but data too,” explained ABI principal analyst Philip Solis. “3G handsets with Wi-Fi, laptops that often feature cellular connections, the new class of Mobile Internet Devices, and other mobile broadband-enabled consumer electronic products – all add to network load. Operators’ need for FMC and 4G equipment to meet that extra demand creates real opportunities for vendors.”
The result of all of these factors, concludes ABI, will be necessary changes to the mobile network landscape. FMC requires a well-integrated network incorporating unified cross-platform applications. In addition, as technologies’ such as femtocells are gradually introduced, they will increase network load as they become embedded as a function in any number of customer premises equipment, from DSL gateways to set-top boxes.
ABI expects there to be $850 million worth of capital expenditures on the part of the network operators that will be spread between FMC platforms, 4G base stations, and the 4G gateways that aggregate their traffic.