Mobile operator spending for wireless core gateways will exceed $1 billion this year, a report said.
The report from ABI Research also said the growing deployment of LTE networks is the main driver for increased spending on gateways, which in turn are driving Evolved Packet Core (EPC) spend. Wireless core gateway spend is expected to be $1.1 billion in 2012, of which LTE EPC spend will be $588 million.
“There are approximately 35 LTE networks in commercial service today and that number will grow to more than 100 next year,” said Aditya Kaul, ABI Research practice director, mobile networks. “This growth in LTE networks has almost doubled total mobile gateway network spend between 2006 and 2011.”
The LTE EPC spend consists of P-Gateway, S-Gateway, MME, and eHRPD equipment, which account for LTE EPC deployments in both W-CDMA and CDMA networks. The vendors benefiting from the increase in EPC spend include the five major wireless network equipment vendors (Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, and ZTE) as well as router vendors including Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and Tellabs.
“Although some operators are able to upgrade their 3G core networks to EPC networks to support LTE, the majority are installing new EPC networks. Operators’ existing core networks are stretched to capacity by dramatic increases in mobile broadband data traffic and most view LTE deployment as an opportunity to install the latest core network technologies for improved network operations,” said Jim Eller, principal analyst, wireless infrastructure,