Mobile operators will invest globally up to $72 billion in mobile broadband technologies in 2010, according to the GSMA, citing figures from Deutsche Bank.
The operators’ association says high-speed mobile rollouts and upgrade will account for 52% of operator investment in mobile infrastructure worldwide.
The forecasts do not include investment in next-gen LTE equipment. Rather, it covers current technologies HSPA/HSPA+, W-CDMA and EV-DO/CDMA technologies only.
Mobile broadband investment is set to soar as HSPA connections pass 200 million, according to the GSMA.
“HSPA and HSPA+ have become the dominant global mobile broadband technologies and are set to benefit from a significant proportion of this capex investment,” said Michael O’Hara, GSM chief marketing officer.
Asia Pacific is expected to account for the biggest investment in mobile broadband in 2010, with predicted capital expenditure of up to $34 billion in 2010. North America follows with up to $19 billion, with Europe expected to invest up to $14 billion.
North American operators will spend the greatest percentage – 80% – of total mobile capex investment on mobile broadband.
Research firm Wireless Intelligence predicts HSPA connections will reach almost 13 million a month in 2010, up from 9 million in 2009.
Europe is expected to account for 120 million HSPA connections in 2010, with Asia Pacific accounting for 116 million and North America 58 million.
The equipment suppliers’ industry body, GSA, says 80 operators have committed to deploying HSPA+, with 41 systems launched.
GSA president Alan Hadden said: “By the end of 2010, we predict there will be at least 100 HSPA+ networks in service around the world, and this figure will include systems with 42 Mbps peak downlink capability.”