The mobile industry is on the cusp of peak LTE, with infrastructure deployments set to reach a crescendo next year, new research has claimed.
A report from Infonetics said explosive activity in China is driving the growth. It claimed operators are currently spending $5.6 billion (€4.5 billion) per quarter on deployments. The global macrocell 2G/3G/4G LTE market hit $11.2 billion (€9.1 billion) in the third quarter this year, up 0.4 percent sequentially and 10 percent on 2013.
Infonetics said operators were already beginning to spend 2015’s cash this year, which it said reinforced its belief that the market was peaking. Nokia Networks was the main beneficiary of this, securing the top slot thanks to deployments in the United States and China.
Stéphane Téral, Principal Analyst for Mobile Infrastructure and Carrier Economics at Infonetics, commented: “In the mobile infrastructure market, the third quarter of 2014 was almost a carbon copy of last quarter, and we are now reaching the peak of plain LTE rollouts, which are so brisk in China that they are overshadowing strong activity in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia.”
The scale of LTE rollouts in China was illustrated last month when the President of Wireless Networks at Huawei revealed there were fewer than 150,000 LTE-enabled base stations across Europe. By the end of this year, China Mobile plans to have 570,000.
According to figures from the GSA, there were 331 commercial LTE networks at the end of September 2014.