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4G LTE Global Market Development Gains Momentum

19 Jun
Global 4G LTE subscribers are projected to grow 35 percent compounded annually over the next five years, from 516 million to 2.3 billion, according to the latest market study by TeleGeography. LTE market penetration has been the greatest in South Korea, where the 4G technology accounted for 63 percent of wireless subscribers in 2014.

Close behind South Korea is the United States market, where LTE overtook 3G as the leading mobile communications technology last year — to account for just over half of wireless subscribers, and Japan, where LTE had a subscriber market share of 41 percent in 2014.

While 4G LTE will continue to grow in each of these leading nations over the next five years to account for between 80 and 90 percent of their respective mobile subscribers, mobile networks in the rest of the world will now begin to catch up.

The country to watch is China, where a boom in TD-LTE network deployment and soaring use of mobile internet access and data service usage are occurring. That said, just 8 percent of Chinese wireless subscribers were on LTE at the end of 2014. However, it’s forecast to grow to 39 percent by 2019 — at which point China will account for nearly one-third of all global LTE subscribers.

Despite the ongoing rise of LTE and slowing 2G and 3G growth rates, these now legacy wireless communication standards aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, 2G remains the dominant mobile platform today, accounting for 61 percent of all global mobile service subscribers.

One of several reasons for this is that 90 percent of India’s 950 million subscribers are still connected to 2G networks. Until recently, challenges allocating spectrum resources and high 3G tariffs hampered the country’s mobile infrastructure advancement.

The situation is in India is improving, following reductions in 3G tariffs and increased adoption of smartphones. Moreover, India’s 3G subscribers are forecast to quadruple over the next five years, but they will still account for only one-third of its mobile subscriber base.

Global 3G subscribers are expected to surpass 2G subscribers in 2019, but each of these technologies will continue to account for a larger share of subscribers than LTE. According to the TeleGeography assessment, LTE is growing at a faster rate than 3G ever did.

However, while 3G subscribers are declining in the U.S. and Europe markets, more new subscribers are being added in all other regions — most notably within Africa, where they are expected to increase 19 percent compounded annually over the next five years. Therefore, despite its rapid growth, 4G LTE may not surpass 3G on a global basis until the next decade.


LTE 4G subscriber base reaches 230 million in 2013, says ABI Research

3 Mar

ABI Research today said LTE subscriptions reached 229.7 million in 2013.

TD-LTE, a technology used by telecom operator like Airtel, accounted for 5 percent of the global LTE market, while 94.2 percent of the LTE market was taken up by FD-LTE in 2013.

LTE connections will grow at a CAGR of 43.6 percent between 2013 and 2019 to exceed 2 billion, ABI Research predicted. This forecast is substantially higher than the forecast of 4G Americas and GSMA.

Among the LTE subscription growth, Asia-Pacific contributes with a 49 percent market share and North America with an 18 percent share.

Growth driver in Asia includes rapid LTE network deployment and cost-competitive smartphones.

LTE-Advanced market

ABI Research forecasts that LTE-Advanced subscribers will grow to 750 million in 2019 accounting for 37.3 percent of overall LTE subscribers.

North America will be the most aggressive LTE-Advanced market, followed by Asia-Pacific and Western Europe.

“South Korean operators, SK Telecom and LG U+, commercially launched LTE-Advanced networks in June 2013 and by the end of 2013, SK Telecom gained more than 1 million LTE-Advanced subscribers, which equates to 10 percent of all its LTE subscribers,” said Jake Saunders, VP and practice director.

The growth of LTE subscribers has also boosted ARPU, because they are bigger spenders than their 3G and 2G counterparts by 35 percent.

To revive traditional voice service revenues, many operators are keen to launch, deploy, or trial Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services as LTE network population coverage heads towards majority population coverage.

Earlier, GSMA and 4G Americas shared their forecast for 2017 and 2018.

4G Americas said LTE connections are forecast to reach 1 billion by early 2018.

4G internet user

Also read: LTE 4G subscriber base up 110 percent to 158 million till 2013 September

Earlier, 4G Americas said that global 4G LTE subscriber base increased 110 percent to 157.7 million as of September 2013 from 75 million LTE connections in 2012. Out of this, 66 million 4G subscriptions were in Asia compared to 79 million in North America. North America’s current dominance is set to decline.

GSMA said 4G LTE subscriber base will pass one billion by 2017 — driven by India and China.

Also read: India, China to drive 4G LTE subscriber base to pass one billion by 2017: GSMA

GSMA said LTE will account for about one in eight of the more than eight billion total mobile connections by 2017 against 176 million LTE connections at the end of 2013.

VoLTE market

Global VoLTE subscriptions are expected to surpass 1.09 billion in 2019, of which 34.2 percent are from Asia-Pacific and 27 percent from North America.

ABI Research predictions on VoLTE reflect China Mobile plans.

China Mobile 4G

China Mobile President Li Yue at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 said the company is performing VoLTE network tests and plans to initiate scale-up tests in the second half of this year with the goal of commercializing VoLTE by the end of 2014.

In addition, China Mobile will accelerate the converged networking of FDD/TDD to provide global universal network solutions with high efficiency. 500,000 base stations will be constructed across 340 cities in China by the end of this year.

Also, China Mobile joined forces with South Korea’s KT to launch two-way global roaming service allowing interoperability between TD-LTE and FDD-LTE. In the future, China Mobile will partner with more international operators to provide 4G global roaming services.



Mobile LTE subscribers expected to double by 2014

30 Nov


High-speed 4G LTE networks are the future of mobile data in the United States and around the world. A number of major wireless providers have already deployed LTE networks and others are expected to follow soon. The Yankee Group found that by the end of 2012 there will be 152 commercial LTE networks across 65 countries, an increase from 47 networks in 2011. The research firm predicts that in 2013 there will be roughly 114 million mobile subscribers utilizing the high-speed technology, a number that is expected to more than double to 258 million by the end of 2014. The global voice and messaging revenue mobile operators are expected to make is also predicted to fall from $769 billion in 2011 to $697 billion in 2016. As a result, Yankee expects service providers to bundle additional content apps and services with LTE subscriptions, as well as increasing their cloud-based storage…

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It Might Be Time To Ditch The SaaS Monthly Subscription Model

25 Nov

Heavy investments shrink Globe Telecom H1 income

7 Aug

HEAVY investments targeted to lure in more subscribers and upgrade the network led to a 10- percent decline in Globe Telecom Inc.’s net income for the first half of the year as against the same period last year.

The cellular firm’s net income stood at P4.965 billion at end June this year from last year’s level of about P5.499 billion. The cellular firm noted continued investments in subscriber acquisitions and network and IT infrastructure.

“The company continued to re-invest in marketing and subsidy to acquire new and re-contract open postpaid subscribers as well as defend its market position through brand-building initiatives and various product and service launches. This period’s expenses also include sustained investments and maintenance costs for Globe’s existing network infrastructure and incremental charges for the bigger network modernization and IT transformation program,” it said. 

Its second-quarter income was also down from P2.51 billion from P2.26 billion. 

Excluding foreign exchange and mark-to-market gains and losses as well as nonrecurring items, however, core net income for the first half of the year was up two percent year-on-year from P5.6 billion to P5.7 billion. 

From January to June this year, Globe posted consolidated service revenues of P40.8 billion, 6-percent higher than last year’s level of P38.4 billion. This was Globe’s strongest semester performance yet as the mobile business remained upbeat with a six percent year-on-year increase in revenues and 13 percent improvement in broadband revenues. Its second quarter service revenue was also an all-time high of P20.5 billion.

Mobile revenues, which accounted for 82 percent of consolidated service revenues as of the first half of the year, increased from about P31.4 billion last year to P33.3 billion.

However, its operating expenses (opex) and subsidy rose 13 percent in the first half of the year from P20.3 billion last year to P23.1 billion driven mainly by higher subsidy and marketing expenses. 

Still, the cellular firm remains optimistic. “We are very satisfied with our performance this period, allowing us to further extend our growth momentum for another quarter. This was achieved despite the challenges posed by competition that is beginning to leverage its scale advantages of having a bigger combined subscriber base and network,” said Ernest L. Cu, president and CEO of Globe. 

During the period, Cu said Globe’s network experienced ‘capacity constraints’ due to increased volume of voice and data traffic. “Nevertheless, we remain focused on our strategy blueprint and were able to extend our gains in key business segments,” said Cu. 

Globe’s cellular mobile subscribers stood at 31.7 million while its broadband subscribers grew to 1.6 million.

“We hope to build further on this momentum as we head into the second half of the year. While we expect competitive and market pressures to persist and even intensify, we believe that as we exert greater efforts to accelerate the completion of our network change-out and IT transformation initiatives, we will be in a better position to sustain these gains and adapt to this fast evolving market.”

The company’s total capex for the first half of the year stood at P11.7 billion, 35-percent higher than last year’s level of P8.6 billion. This year’s amount included investments in network modernization and IT transformation coupled with the usual spend to expand coverage and capacity of its broadband and mobile networks.

As of end-June, Globe has a total of 12,768 base stations and 7,258 cell sites.

Source: Tuesday, 07 August 2012 17:56 Lenie Lectura

Interop Technologies Launches Load-N-GoSM RCS Program

7 Aug

FORT MYERS, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Interop Technologies, a provider of core wireless solutions for advanced messaging, over-the-air handset management, and connectivity gateways, today announced the availability of its Load-N-GoSM Rich Communication Suite (RCS) program, which enables wireless network operators to evaluate RCS internally on their own devices. RCS, branded joyn™ by the GSM Association, is an advanced wireless communication service that helps operators retain revenue by mitigating subscriber use of “over-the-top” services offered by third-party providers.

The no-cost Load-N-Go initiative utilizes the Interop Technologies hosted RCS Messaging Server, a fully compliant RCS solution that can be implemented with or without an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) core. After downloading an Interop-provided RCS client onto device models that Interop has approved for the program, participating operators can experiment with RCS on their own handsets during a 30-day evaluation period. Operators can use Load-N-Go on any data network, including 3G or LTE. Available features include one-to-one and group chat, file transfer, and image and video sharing during communication sessions.

“With Interop’s Load-N-Go demonstration program, operators have the unique opportunity to experience RCS today, on their own devices and with their existing data network, without any commitment,” said Steve Zitnik, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Interop Technologies. “Load-N-Go gives operators a fast, no-risk way to familiarize themselves with the features and benefits of RCS, the chosen industry solution for combating use of ‘over-the-top’ messaging services.”

Source: – August 07, 2012 06:03 AM

Ethernet Traffic Classification: It’s All About QoE and QoS

6 Aug

Quality of Experience (QoE) is quickly becoming the name of the game in mobile backhaul services. Today’s mobile subscriber expects nothing short of a fixed-line user experience on their smart phone or tablet, regardless of whether they’re downloading a YouTube video, completing a trade transaction, or watching a Netflix movie. And they’re not too interested in hearing service provider woes on how to best deliver these delay-sensitive, bandwidth-intensive applications. In other words, user demand and expectations are driving an increased need for a Quality of Service (QoS) that far exceeds a “best effort” level of service.

The reality of today’s modern mobile networks is that they support multiple applications, each with its own unique performance requirements when it comes to network parameters such as delay, delay variation, frame loss, etc. However, meeting these requirements on the WAN (Wide Area Network) with its bandwidth constraints can be a challenge compared to a Local Area Network (LAN) where bandwidth is much more abundant.

Classifying Ethernet traffic before putting it on the network is therefore imperative in order to properly prioritize different applications across the limited WAN bandwidth and ensure that application-specific requirements are met. And let’s not forget that in the real world, user perception is king. While the user application may not be as sensitive to long delay or delay variation, the user may be sensitive to long wait times.

So, what is traffic classification? In a nut-shell, it’s a technique that identifies the application or protocol, and tags the packets (or just lets them through untouched) based on certain classification policies, which are then used by the network interface device to provide appropriate treatment to those packets.

Research has shown that only 10-20% of traffic is extremely time sensitive, yet right now we’re throwing 100% of the traffic on the same pipe with little or no regard to what’s delay sensitive and what isn’t. For clarification purposes let’s compare this to an airplane where all passengers are treated equally, and boarded in the first-class compartment regardless of ticket price. And, due to the limited space availability in first-class, a mix of first-class, business and economy passengers weren’t able to board that first plane, so you call up another and repeat the same unstructured boarding procedure. And so on. In this analogy where airplane seating capacity represents bandwidth, you’re not only flying with an airplane that ¾ empty, you’re adding more and more bandwidth to accommodate the traffic you’ve left behind, some of which should’ve been on that first flight. This doesn’t make sense.

Traffic classification is critical to optimizing available bandwidth while improving your Ethernet network performance and the user experience. By classifying traffic, you ensure that critical applications such as financial transactions are treated as ‘first-class’ priority and get through as quickly, and as soon as possible. Your ‘business-class’ traffic such as internet browsing, over-the-top or streaming video which may be less sensitive to delay, but more so to delay variation, gets through next. And then you have your ‘economy’ class traffic that still needs to get through, but can probably wait a bit.

Digging a little deeper in how all this works, let’s look at a mobile backhaul network where congestion typically happens primarily in the downstream direction. Ethernet frames originating from the Internet, mobile network controllers, voice gateways, etc. are classified, meaning that a determination is made on the priority class of each frame based on its origin and contents. The frame is switched to the appropriate egress port towards the Ethernet Virtual Connection (EVC) and placed into the appropriate queue for its class. On an ongoing basis, a queue-servicing algorithm takes frames out of the appropriate queue and sends them on the EVC towards their destination.

To continue with the air travel analogy, this mechanism of prioritizing traffic is very much like a lineup to check in at the airport. Rather than having all customers wait in a common queue, higher priority customers (e.g. frequent flyers or business class travelers) are put in a different queue and airline counter personnel service the two queues appropriately so that the higher priority customers do not have to wait as long.

Classifying traffic can therefore make a huge difference in the customer experience for mission-critical time sensitive applications, and can help you optimize the bandwidth you have available. Not to mention leveraging one of the most powerful capabilities of Ethernet, that being the ability to engineer the network in the context of different traffic priorities.


How Mobile Broadband is Driving a Transformation

28 Jul

Mobile broadband related advances are changing the legacy business models of the telecom sector. In developing nations around the globe, many people will likely encounter the internet for the first time via an inexpensive smartphone.

Infonetics Research has released excerpts from its latest 3G and 4G (LTE, WiMAX) Broadband Devices and Subscribers market study that highlights these changes.
The global study and resulting report tracks smartphones, smartphone OS, mobile broadband USBs, embedded mobile broadband cards and devices, netbook and tablet OS, mobile broadband and WiMAX routers, and mobile broadband subscribers.

“We expect to see some segmentation in the smartphone market in the next 12 to 24 months between high-end ‘ultra smart’ smartphones and a new breed of ‘smart enough’ smartphones aimed at the lower end of the market,” says Richard Webb, directing analyst at Infonetics Research.

Infonetics says that ZTE and Huawei have already launched lower-cost smartphones this year with others surely to follow, and if they achieve volume, the average selling price of a smartphone very likely will get pushed down.


Highlights from the latest market study include:

  • Global smartphone sales totaled $45.9 billion in the first quarter of 2012, down 3 percent from the typically high fourth quarter.
  • By 2016, Infonetics expects the worldwide smartphone market to hit $237 billion.
  • Apple holds a  strong lead in the global smartphone market, with 45.7 percent revenue market share in 1Q12.
  • Samsung, which surpassed HTC about a year ago, easily held on to 2nd place for global smartphone revenue, well ahead of RIM, Nokia, and HTC.
  • The Android operating system (OS) hit its highest market share to date in 1Q12, used  in 57 percent of all smartphones shipped.
  • Demand for embedded mobile broadband devices continues unabated, with shipments of MIDs (mobile Internet devices, such as e-readers and mobile gaming      consoles) growing the fastest over the next 5 years.

Tablets will continue to make up the lion’s share of the embedded devices segment, and will be a major focus of activity and innovation in the mobile broadband space, with LTE as a big driver supporting faster speeds for video streaming, multiplayer gaming, and multimedia communications.

Source:  posted by: David H. Deans at 7/25/2012

Mobile Network Services Market will Grow to $976B

28 Jul

Infonetics Research has released its latest report on the mobile network service provider ecosystem — which tracks operator subscribers and revenue derived from pre-paid and post-paid mobile broadband data, voice, and messaging services.

“The mobile world is undeniably shifting from voice to data, as mobile operators migrate as many subscribers as they can to data service plans and smartphones,” says Stephane Teral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

Already in North America and Asia Pacific, mobile operators derive over 40 percent of their mobile revenue from mobile broadband and messaging. But, while mobile broadband is no doubt the fastest growing revenue stream for network operators, mobile messaging and voice aren’t dead just yet.

According to Teral’s assessment, the prophecies of doom for mobile operators’ SMS/MMS cash cow are being overplayed. Despite the popularity of over-the-top messaging applications like Apple’s iMessage and WhatsApp, his data shows SMS growing every year from 2012 to 2016, delivering a cumulative $1 trillion in operator revenue during those 5 years.

And, over that same period, voice revenue will decline only slightly, still making up a sizable chunk of mobile network operator revenues.


Highlights from the latest market study include:

  • On a global basis, Infonetics expects operators to see a 6 percent increase overall in revenue from mobile voice, mobile broadband, and mobile messaging services in 2012.
  • The highest growth in 2012 will come from Asia Pacific and Latin America, while the EMEA  region is expected to see a slight decline due to cutthroat competition      and economic turmoil.
  • Globally, the  mobile network services market is forecast to grow to $976 billion by 2016, with the bulk of the growth coming from mobile broadband services.
  • Mobile data (text messaging, multimedia messaging, and mobile broadband) service revenue  rose in every region in 2011, driven by an increase in smartphone usage.
  • At more than a quarter trillion dollars in 2011, Asia Pacific generates the largest portion of mobile service revenue.
  • Voice revenue dipped 0.8 percent worldwide in 2011, despite the growing use of voice services in China.
  • Mobile broadband  subscribers will grow from 15 percent to nearly 40 percent of all mobile subscribers between 2011 and 2016.

Source: – posted by: David H. Deans at 7/27/2012

Japan and S Korea Report Big LTE Growth

25 Jul

Japan’s top mobile operator, NTT Docomo, announced this week that its new LTE network has hit 4 million subscribers. Docomo’s Xi network passed the 4 million subscriber mark on 22 July, around one and a half months after reaching 3 million subscribers.


According to the operator, the pace of new subscriptions nearly doubled following the introduction of a wider range of smartphones compatible with the Xi LTE network earlier in the summer. Docomo said it plans to introduce more Xi-compatible smartphones, mobile Wi-Fi routers and other devices as well as related services such as Xi Talk 24 for free and unlimited voice calls between Docomo customers using Xi-compatible smartphones.

Docomo’s announcement follows South Korea’s SK Telecom which revealed yesterday that it has also hit the same 4 million LTE subscriber mark. The operator plans to roll out the multi-carrier LTE technology across Seoul and six other metropolitan cities by the end of 2012. Around 200,000 LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy S3 devices were sold in the 10 days following its launch on 9 July.

South Korea’s second-largest operator, KT said last week its LTE users were at 1.4 million while LG Uplus noted it should reach 3 million LTE users “in a few days”. KT, meanwhile, said last week that it is moving to start so-called voice over LTE (VoLTE) services, to compete more effectively with rivals.

Cumulatively, South Korea has a total of some 8.4M LTE users.

SK said this “solidifies” its position as the world’s second-largest LTE service provider behind Verizon Wireless. According to Wireless Intelligence, the Verizon has more than 9.8 million LTE connections. AT&T’s LTE network is now live in 47 markets. AT&T has approximately 43 million smartphone subscribers and sold 2.5 million LTE devices in the 2nd quarter.

Only 9% of India’s 1.2 billion people now have Internet access, notes the Wall Street Journal, because copper and fiber optic lines don’t reach into smaller towns and rural areas. Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, chairman of Reliance Group, plans to change all that, targeting 700 cities, including 100 high-priority markets, and investing billions in a new, nationwide TD-LTE network.

Posted by Sam Churchill on July 24th, 2012


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