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LTE – Mid-Year 2010 Status Report

| May 17, 2010 | Mobile Access Infrastructure
| Analyst: Peter Jarich, Research Director, Service Provider Infrastructure

Last December, we posted an analysis of the LTE market – delving into the momentum that had been claimed to date along with our understanding of operator requirements for network solutions. The full report is available here. It’s a good read and one of our more popular reports from 2009. That said, if you don’t have time to read it, the findings are fairly straightforward: as the planned proto-4G evolution of 3G networks in both the 3GPP and 3GPP2 family, LTE might be a “long term” evolution, but operators around the world have been busy issuing commercial LTE contracts with buying criteria that include complete solutions, multi-standard RAN support, service delivery products and professional services.

As we approach the middle of 2010, then, it’s worthwhile revisiting the state of the LTE market.
To be sure, operator buying criteria haven’t changed dramatically. They’re still looking for vendors with solutions – whether or not they buy end-to-end from a single supplier. They’re still looking for base station portfolios that allow LTE to be launched as an overlay or as part of a 2G/3G network renewal. They’re still looking to pair LTE launches with new applications and services (including voice, some day). They’re still looking for service support in designing, planning, launching and monetizing their new LTE networks.

What has changed is the momentum being claimed by vendors along with the specific technology trends getting more attention. None of this should be particularly surprising. As LTE matures, it’s only natural that new aspects of the technology will come to the fore. And, with most every major LTE vendor selling themselves on the value of mutli-standard base stations, EPC offers, professional services and end-to-end solutions, momentum becomes an important differentiator and proof point in any new market.

Surprising or not, however, the technology trends driving messaging around LTE and how LTE momentum is being claimed is worth another look as services are on the verge of going broadly commercial and vendors continue to jockey for position.

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