4G LTE to boost demand for data intensive applications in India, West Asia

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jan 16, 2013

As the demand for mobile broadband services continues to explode, service providers are moving towards faster data networks. With LTE technology offering lower operating costs for mobile data transfer, mobile operators worldwide are progressively committing themselves to LTE network deployments as a path for moving towards fourth generation (4G) services.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, LTE Outlook, estimates LTE revenues in India, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia to reach $11.88 billion, $4.55 billion and $3.38 billion respectively in 2017.

While LTE revenues in India are projected to grow at a phenomenal compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 220.5 percent (2012-2017), revenues in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are expected to grow at 75.6 and 45.3 percent respectively, over the period 2011-2017.

“With increasing adoption of smartphones and high demand for data intensive applications, the mobile operators today are burdened with immediate need to upgrade their network infrastructure to be able to offer high-speed data services to the consumers. The mobile operators are planning to move to 4G technologies to accommodate the surge in data traffic. WiMAX and LTE seem to be the two primary 4G technologies. However, the mobile operators globally are more inclined towards LTE as the technology of the future. LTE is expected to bring forth a data deluge in India, UAE and Saudi Arabia and felicitate the adoption of data intensive applications,” noted Frost & Sullivan Information and Communication Technologies Research Analyst.

Greater capacity, lower cost of deployment, support for high mobility, spectrum flexibility and superior quality of services are some of the factors that make LTE ideal for high-speed, high-quality mobile broadband services.

LTE is also poised to boost the demand for data intensive services like mobile TV and mobile videoconferencing. This, in turn, is expected to increase telecom operators’ revenues, while enriching the overall end-user experience.

However, the inability to support voice, SMS and spectrum concerns, including the lack of spectrum harmonisation, is likely to dampen the LTE adoption.

Such challenges are expected to exacerbate by an underdeveloped LTE device ecosystem that limits the number of access device options, especially those of handsets. Moreover, high deployment costs will manifest into premium-price tags for LTE services.

“The focus of telecom value chain members in India, the UAE and Saudi Arabia needs to be on developing the overall ecosystem, which includes access devices and also dedicated applications,” advised Frost & Sullivan Analyst. “Voice support over LTE networks through technologies like VoLTE is also expected to go a long way in anchoring people onto LTE technology.”