Will LTE Deployments Cluster in 2600 Frequency Band?
The Strategy Analytics RF and Wireless Components (RFWC) service predicts that the majority of LTE deployments by wireless operators will use the 2,600 MHz band, creating ample new opportunities for terminal component vendors. A strong tranche of deployments will also occur at sub-1,000 MHz frequencies, including roll-outs by such prominent operators as Verizon in the US, eventually accounting for one-third of deployments globally. These findings come from the report, “Complex Economics & Regulations Favor LTE At 2600 MHz.”
LTE offers truly high speed mobile broadband, up to five times faster than HSPA, at a lower cost per megabyte than 3G. As such, interest in LTE deployment is sky-high among operators, despite the lack of a definitive answer as to what spectrum is even likely to be made available. In Western Europe, most wireless operators are focusing on the 2,600 MHz frequency as this is largely clear of incumbent users and provides the greatest opportunity for swift and effective deployment.
Stephen Entwistle, Vice President of the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice, said, “This drive to move swiftly toward LTE in multiple frequency bands creates opportunities for manufacturers. For example, Verizon is looking at deploying LTE commercially at 700 MHz by early 2010, which will require manufacturers of wireless data-cards, USB modems and embedded terminals to come up with new designs quickly.”
Christopher Taylor, Director of the RF and Wireless Components Strategies service, added, “To maximize performance for LTE and provide a better match to existing 2G and 3G cell sizes, we expect operators to install upgrade equipment such as Remote Radio Heads (RRH) to existing infrastructure, creating demand for new RF components. For example, multi-band RRHs may create opportunities for gallium nitride RF power transistors, which can provide high performance and efficiency in compact, lightweight modules and subsystems, particularly above 2 GHz.”