A Frost & Sullivan report concludes that mobile operators will trend toward fully maximizing their high-speed packet access (HSPA) deployments before eventually deploying LTE.
The report comes amid an industry that paid a lot of attention to LTE at the recent CTIA 2009 trade show.
Citing skyrocketing data demands – six to 14 times more data being consumed over the past year – driven by flat-rate pricing, the report concludes that new networks are essential for continued revenue growth.
The report shows that average users download more than 5 GB per month, some as much as 9 GB to 11 GB.
“Next-generation wireless technologies such as 3G LTE and mobile WiMAX will eventually lead operators to move to an ‘open’ access, any client device connected, Internet model, with the advent of consumer electronic devices being embedded with 3G LTE technology,” notes Frost & Sullivan Program Manager Luke Thomas in the report.
Thomas stressed the importance of upgrading backhaul in a cost-effective manner, as each LTE base station “would require a minimum of 200-300 Mbps backhaul capacity.”
The report found that most mobile operators are considering high-capacity point-to-point microwave links and relay for backhaul, but also noted a growing interest in subsidizing femtocells as a way to reduce backhaul costs.