Friday, November 27, 2009

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, 4G world!

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad [4G] World" report to its offering.

In the last few weeks, the operator with the largest installed base of HSPA subscribers in the world announced that it was moving directly to LTE while relegating HSPA+ to the backburners -- a complete reversal of its earlier stated strategy.

Telefonica also stated that it would probably not be deploying HSPA+ in many of its markets, seemingly providing further evidence that HSPA+ will be relegated to isolated markets. Meanwhile, if rumors about various operator mergers pan out it could have important implications for the infrastructure community, not to mention the future of certain wireless technologies.

In this week's issue of Signals Ahead the publisher shed some light on why AT&T made its decision and why the strategies of AT&T and Telefonica should not be misinterpreted as the inevitable downfall of HSPA+.

By looking strictly at the spectrum holdings of the operators, they can determine which potential mergers or partnerships make sense and which operators need spectrum to fulfill their network evolution strategy.

Specifically, the report discusses the following topics:
* HSPA+ versus LTE. Given comments from Telefonica and AT&T about their views on HSPA+ it may seem like HSPA+ will be relegated to remote regions of the world. The publisher discusses why this is not necessarily the case, as well as what it means for the future of HSPA+ and LTE.

* AT&T's new strategy. The publisher shed some light on why AT&T has reprioritized LTE at the expense of HSPA+ and they demonstrate why it lacks the spectrum assets to have a successful dual-band LTE strategy.

* Operator Musical Chairs. By looking solely at the spectrum assets of the various operators, the publisher can identify which potential operator partnerships make the most sense and why. This analysis includes 14 spectrum maps and/or tables that provide the 700/1700MHz spectrum positions of each operator and or pairings of operators on a nationwide basis as well as in the top 25 markets. Ultimately, the publisher conclude that AT&T needs Spectrum Co spectrum assets and T-Mobile needs access to Clearwire spectrum. Other operators analyzed include Verizon Wireless/Vodafone, MetroPCS, Leap, and US Cellular, along with all of their respective affiliations that also own spectrum assets.

* TD-LTE and Mobile WiMAX. Operator interest in TD-LTE, including from the likes of China Mobile, Telefonica, Clearwire, Rogers Wireless could prove problematic for the future long-term success of mobile WiMAX. The publisher completely disagrees that it doesn't matter which OFDMA-based technology an operator decides to deploy.

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