A new study from ABI Research has revealed a growing number of wireless communications operators making a firm commitment to deploying LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks and offering LTE-based services to their subscribers in 2010.
ABI has found that at least 12 operators have committted to roll out LTE-based services by 2010 and forecasts that by the following year nearly 34 million users worldwide will subscribe to the new ultra-fast data services that LTE promises, with theoretical data rates in the same range as those currently available via cable or DSL.
Such throughput will be ideal to support applications such as mobile multimedia and video conferencing as well as enabling traditional business applications to be carried out at high speed.
The first operators intending to deploy LTE include Verizon Wireless, MetroPCS Wireless, and U.S. Cellular in the United States; NTT-DOCOMO and KDDI in Japan; TeliaSonera, Tele2 and Telenor in Europe; and the world's largest operator, China Mobile, which intends to launch in 2011. KT and SK Telecom are expected to launch in Korea 2010, but there has been little fanfare so far.
The drive to LTE is most welcome news for under pressure infrastructure equipment vendors. A few operators have already announced the contracts they have awarded. Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Starent have won contracts from Verizon Wireless and in
Before the potential is realised however, the research firm warns that certain factors much be addressed, principally spectrum. "Spectrum availability is the primary factor impacting deployment plans," revealed ABI senior analyst Nadine Manjaro. "In countries where telecommunications regulators are making appropriate spectrum available, many operators have announced plans to launch LTE. These include the