Friday, June 16, 2006

ABI Research: 2G Wireless is Alive and Well in Developing Countries

ABI Research has issued a new report that finds "2G and 2.5G wireless infrastructure is alive and well and living in the developing world. With most mobile telephone infrastructure markets in industrialized nations near or at saturation levels, wireless base station vendors are looking further afield, all the way to China, India, and other fast-growing markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America."

According to ABI Research, "unable to leapfrog directly to 3G because of its high upfront cost and small cell size, operators in developing markets need efficient and easily upgradeable 2G/2.5G networks."

Lance Wilson at ABI Research said, "The major infrastructure manufacturers have to be very clever in producing cost-effective 2G and 2.5G systems for developing markets, because there isn't a lot of money to spend."

ABI Research cited "Ericsson's "Expander" program, "requires 30-40% fewer cell cites than traditional GSM networks, promises reductions in both CAPEX and OPEX, has a clear upgrade path to 3G, and is designed to be profitable at monthly subscriber fees as low as $5.00, in detail.

Wilson said, "The Expander system allows installation and expansion of 2G/2.5 networks in an exceptionally cost-efficient manner."

ABI Research believed that "this kind of wireless infrastructure appropriate for the developing world is more than just smart strategy; it may help mitigate the effects of the overall wireless infrastructure market trend which, according to the updated forecasts contained in the study, continues to stagnate from an overall standpoint. Only the WCDMA and CDMA2000 1x EV-DO sectors defy the market's general flatness."