Network QoS makes all the difference

LTE Insights

Mobile broadband grows up: With LTE’s capabilities already rivaling and even surpassing fixed broadband (as long as it’s not fiber), “cord-cutting” has become a popular buzzword. We asked operators how they rate mobile broadband’s chances as a competitor to fixed in the next five years.

Cellcos are naturally far more bullish about mobile’s ability to dominate over fixed broadband in that time frame, or at least serve as a viable alternative. Over 60% said so in our survey. A slim majority (54%) of integrated operators say mobile broadband will remain complementary to fixed broadband rather than compete with it.

When will 2G die?: As LTE becomes the default mode of mobile broadband activity, many operators are asking themselves how much longer they’ll hold on to their own 2G networks before they’re finally decommissioned.

Suffice to say 2G still has plenty of life in it yet, though that lifespan depends on individual circumstances, such as timelines for spectrum refarming, which is happening more in markets like Australia and Korea than, say, Western Europe.

For standalone cellcos, the bulk of switch-offs are earmarked for three to four years from now, says Ovum principal analyst Nicole McCormick. “These operators are likely to have only begun refarming legacy spectrum for LTE, have lower LTE penetration rates, and still can milk healthy GSM roaming/voice/M2M revenues. But over time, such factors will become less pertinent, and the cost of maintaining the network will outweigh residual revenues earned from that spectrum, which would earn more if it were used by an LTE customer, not a GSM one.”       

This article first appeared on Telecom Asia LTE Insights April 2015 edition

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