- Buyers Guide
The spending on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) base stations will hit US$ 12.3 billion in 2013 as countries around the world join the high-speed club. Membership is not exclusive to the developed economies as emerging markets close the digital divide by aggressive network roll-out. Some of these emerging market LTE deployments are government-sponsored initiatives as in Rwanda while others are private ventures as in Sri Lanka.
Worldwide mobile operator capital infrastructure expenditure in 2013 will experience opposing forces from different regional markets. “In North America, mobile carrier CapEx will grow 2.1 percent to US$13.4 billion as the accelerated LTE equipment spend programs from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, etc. concentrate spending in 2013,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting at ABI Research.
Mobile capital expenditure in Western Europe contracted 3.8 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) even though mobile operators are building out coverage for 4G, and to a lesser extent enhancing capacity and coverage of their 3G networks. Not only was QoQ spend down but also, year-on-year (YoY) growth was down significantly (19 percent). “Overall capital expenditure for the region is expected to drop 12 percent to $14.4 billion for the year.
A U.S. election year combined with uncertain European financial fundamentals has clouded the economic outlook for the North American market. However, mobile operators are busily preparing their networks for next generation 4G services. “North American mobile cellular capital expenditure is expected to hold its ground in 2012 year-on-year, with expenditure of around US$ 10 billion”, said Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting at ABI Research.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.3 percent, capital expenditures on microwave backhaul equipment for mobile networks will reach almost $5 billion in 2012 as mobile network operators upgrade and transition to more cost effective packet microwave systems. The Asia Pacific and Western European regions will continue to dominate the market for microwave equipment with a combined share of 61 percent in 2017.
Advantech Wireless, a Canadian-based manufacturer of satellite, RF equipment and microwave systems, will present details of its world leading, state-of-the-art Solid State Power Amplifiers (SSPAs) featuring GaN technology at CommunicAsia 2012 Show.
Global capital expenditure weakened in 4Q2011 for many mobile operators as they trimmed their budgets for the remainder of 2011. However confidence is returning in the first half of 2012 as operators start to switch over from LTE trial to commercial service in a number of markets. “Mobile capital expenditure is forecasted to grow 9% to US$111.1 billion in 2012, supported by renewed investment in radio access network (RAN) infrastructure and in-building wireless access,” says Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting.
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