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LTE infrastructure: worldwide demand drivers and base station forecast 2012–2017

Rupert Wood Research Director

Three out of four base stations shipped between 2012 and 2017 will be deployed in emerging markets.

Wireless networksThe proliferation of smart devices in developed markets and the extension of mobile services in emerging markets is driving traffic growth, but the network capacity needs to expand to support this growth. The number of base stations deployed is set to grow at a 41% CAGR worldwide between 2012 and 2017. The market for all 3GPP air interface technologies – GSM, UMTS and LTE – will grow during the next five years.


This Report provides:

•  a clear statement of the market growth potential for GSM, UMTS and LTE base stations

•  a forecast of:

  • mobile connections
  • traffic per connection
  • devices in use, split by type (smartphones, non-smartphones, mobile broadband devices and tablets)
  • annual base station deployments, split by technology (GSM, UMTS and LTE)
  • annual base stations replaced as part of RAN refresh activity
  • total annual base station deployments, including RAN refresh.

•  worldwide data, which is also split into eight geographical regions:

  • North America
  • Caribbean and Latin America
  • Western Europe
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • the Middle East and North Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Developed Asia–Pacific
  • Emerging Asia–Pacific.

•  an analysis of the four key factors affecting network roll-out strategies in each region:

  • the age of the installed base
  • the impact of Wi-Fi offload
  • the availability of spectrum
  • the likelihood of network-sharing agreements.
  • a discussion of the network evolution path in each region, including network capacity upgrades
  • a detailed discussion of the benefits and drivers behind the LTE market, including LTE-Advanced and heterogeneous networks
  • an examination of the benefits of LTE in comparison with HSPA.