Thursday, June 01, 2006

ABI Research: Mobile Operators' 3G CAPEX Rising Sharply

According to ABI Research, not only are the largest operators in he most developed nations spending on 3G deployments, but "many smaller and incumbent operators in developing and less saturated markets are also increasing CAPEX as they roll out 3G networks."

ABI Research analyst Shailendra Pandey said, "In spite of falling prices for 3G infrastructure, building a 3G network with good coverage is expensive and time-consuming. For a mobile operator, 3G network CAPEX spending depends on the reusability of its existing 2G equipment and infrastructure."

ABI Research said, "existing coverage also determines the requirements for complementary wireless technologies such as GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi and WiMAX. If the existing core/backhaul network is IP-based then additional costs are lower than those associated with a circuit-switched network, whether the shift is to W-CDMA or CDMA2000. Most operators with GSM networks prefer to introduce a GPRS platform first to increase usage of data services, and then migrate to 3G networks later."

ABI Research expected "the majority of operators worldwide will invest in W-CDMA networks in the next five years. However in North America, CDMA2000 will continue to be the dominant technology in terms of CAPEX investments, and operators will continue to deploy 1xEV-DO networks although investment in W-CDMA will roll out as well."