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4th generation telecom networks in Europe

Friday 9 October, 2009

I checked out 4G World, the successor to Wimax World telecom show in the past @ McCormick Place.  The 1st panel I attended 4G Network Deployments in Americas was very disappointing because the only panelist from outside of the United States was from Jamaica, not necessarily a good representation of Latin America.  Needless to say, there’s not much to note there.

I also attended the panel on 4G Network Deployments in Europe:

Spain just got digital TV last summer.

From Maravedis, there are 500 wimax deployments world-wide & 10 in Europe.  Europe is biggest in fixed wimax:  fixed 49; mobile 28; i6e 21.

Here are growth projections for Europe:

  • LTE trials/Metro coverage
  • 2010-18%/2%
  • 2012-47%/14%
  • 2014-55%/38%
  • 2016-?%/69%

Spectrum in Europe is allocated like so:

  • 21-42 MHz 63%
  • 42+ MHz 34%
  • <21 MHz 3%

Check 4G counts for more data.

Average Revenue per User worldwide breaks down like this:

  • Europe $47
  • US-$40
  • Latin America-$36
  • Asia-$35

From Yota, why are operators installing LTE in Russia?

  • 37%-bandwidth capacity
  • 26%-leverage 3G
  • 15%-flexibility to use different spectrum
  • 15%-declining capacity expectations & operations expenditures

Norway is sparsely populated so coverage is expensive.  There are 2 mobile players with national GSM networks.  LTE is coming next year.  Wimax is replacing rural coverage.  All bands of spectrum are available for 3G & Wimax.

France is a mature fixed & mobile market.  30 Euro bundles are good for consumers but bad for network operators.  Conversely, high prices for mobile are good for operators but bad for consumers.  Consumption has changed in a move to fully-enabled internet.  Operators focus on densely populated urban areas.

Q&A:

  • The biggest issue is capacity:  there is a difference between 2.5 & 3.5 ghz.  Lower frequencies (700 MHz) are better in rural areas.
  • Wimax operators do work together on roaming.
  • Wimax does play a role in M2M communications, but it’s quite different from residential service.
  • 60% of consumers have access in Russia.
  • Differentiation from the big operators in France is bringing fixed to mobile.  They’ll either work with or against them.  VOIP is coming to rural areas.
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