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LTE infrastructure investment expected to peak this year

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Analyst house IHS is forecasting global LTE mobile infrastructure revenue to peak at $23.3 billion in 2015, after which the rate of LTE rollouts will start to decline.

It looks like operator spend on LTE kit has really gathered momentum over the past year, with South Korea, Japan and the US leading the way and validating the technology and its commercialisation to the rest of the world. Many Western European markets have followed, as has China, but there is still a lot of untapped global potential for LTE network rollout, as concluded by Ericsson in its recent report.

“As we anticipated, we’re reaching the peak of LTE rollouts, and LTE is now set to perform at $6 billion a quarter for some time as operators complete their major remaining rollouts,” said Stéphane Téral of IHS.

This $6 billion run rate was achieved in Q1 2015, and that represented a 4% year-on-year increase but a 1% decline on the previous quarter’s spend. Overall telco kit sales of $11 billion was also up 4% year-on-year thanks mainly to Chinese TDD LTE spend, but it was down 8% sequentially as LTE rollouts failed to fully compensate for declining investment in older technologies.

IHS LTE chart

 

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