The global mobile infrastructure market expanded 10 per cent to $46.8 billion last year, due in large part to a surge in LTE network spending.
LTE revenue jumped 69 per cent in 2014, with China Mobile’s massive TD-LTE deployment – more than 700,000 base stations – driving much of that growth, according to data from Infonetics, which is now part of IHS.
“We have consistently said that LTE was supposed to pull the entire mobile infrastructure market out of the funk, and so far it has,” said Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure at Infonetics.
He noted, however, that the industry has reached the peak of LTE buildouts and it believes market dynamics will cause the mobile macro infrastructure industry to enter a long-tail decline beginning in 2016 until 5G eventually kicks in.
Infonetics expects the 2G/3G/4G mobile infrastructure market to drop from nearly $47 billion to $27 billion in 2019.
Global macrocell revenue in Q4 increased 10 per cent to $12 billion year-on-year.
For the full-year 2014, it said the overall market share leaders were Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Networks (in alphabetical order). Nokia Networks continued to advance, helped by major wins in the US at Sprint and T-Mobile, as well as massive LTE deployments in China.
According to GSMA Intelligence, 352 operators had commercial LTE networks globally as of the end of January 2015. This represents an increase of 88 compared to the same point in 2014. Meanwhile, the number of LTE connections more than doubled last year to nearly half a billion (490 million).