USA: Infonetics Research released excerpts from its fourth quarter 2012 (4Q12) and year-end 2G, 3G, 4G Mobile Infrastructure and Subscribers report, which tracks 2G, 3G, LTE, and WiMAX network equipment and subscribers.
“The US, Japan, and South Korea have been fueling the engine with LTE, but weak activity in BRIC countries dragged the overall mobile infrastructure market in 2012,” notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research. “The good news, though, is that this year BRIC is coming back with some serious LTE spending.”
Téral adds: “We’re forecasting the LTE market to almost double in 2013, easily passing the $10-billion mark for the first time. Operators are in the midst of a second wave of LTE deployments, and LTE-Advanced is gearing for true 4G prime time, with NTT DOCOMO, SK telecom, and likely Russia’s Yota all planning launches this year.”
* The global mobile infrastructure market—including 2G/3G, LTE, and WiMAX—rose 6 percent sequentially in 4Q12, to $10.8 billion, driven by North America, China, and sustained modernization projects in Europe.
* LTE revenue grew 115 percent in 2012 from 2011, fueled by an onslaught of new deployments worldwide paired with the existing strong markets of Japan, North America, and South Korea.
* The GSA reports that 145 commercial LTE networks have been launched in 66 countries as of January 2013.
* Ericsson maintains its lead in the LTE infrastructure market, though Nokia Siemens Networks is closing the gap as of the 4th quarter; meanwhile Alcatel-Lucent is #2 for the full year 2012 and posted its best LTE quarter to date in 4Q12.
* Subscriber growth is driving the mobile infrastructure market: wireless subscribers hit 6 billion in 2012 and are expected to reach 7 billion by 2017, including 569 million LTE subscribers.
* South Korea became the first country in the world to surpass 100 percent wireless broadband penetration, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).