According to their research, the need for additional GSM base stations will be limited in Western Europe during 2012–2017. About 22 000 units will be shipped in 2012, but this figure will decline to 13 000 in 2013. The number of new GSM base station shipments will be negligible during the remainder of the forecast period, although a substantial increase in shipments will occur in the form of RAN refresh deployments.
In addition, the constant growth in traffic per connection and the number of smart devices in use will drive demand for UMTS base stations in Western Europe during the forecast period. More than 140 000 UMTS base stations will be required in 2012, followed by an additional 140 000 in 2013. However, capacity upgrades (such as HSPA+, dual-cell and MIMO) between 2013 to 2016 will reduce demand for new base stations.
Finally, LTE capacity will largely replace UMTS capacity between 2015 and 2017. The demand for LTE in the region will remain fairly constant throughout the forecast period. The introduction of capacity enhancements will do little to offset the impact of traffic growth. LTE base station shipments will grow at an annual rate of 145% between 2012 and 2017. Slightly less than 280 000 additional LTE base stations will be required in Western Europe between 2012 and 2017.