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Who's Doing Best in LTE-A?
Danny Dicks | Analyst
As LTE-Advanced networks begin to reach commercial deployment, technology suppliers are scrambling to establish market leadership positions.

Numerous key vendors are taking an early lead in this mobile sector.
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LTE-A Infrastructure: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis
Services with Long Term Evolution-Advanced (LTE-A) features (those in the 3GPP LTE specifications for Release 10 and above) are being rolled out around the world. Networks supporting those features use equipment from network equipment providers keen to ensure their LTE infrastructure continues to support their exiting wireless operator customers as they migrate to ever-faster, denser networks.

While LTE networks up to Release 8/9 are relatively homogenous across the world, those with LTE-A features vary significantly because operators are picking and choosing from a wide range of Release 10+ features depending on their specific requirements.

This means vendors must develop their products and solutions carefully, building in those features that will appeal to their important existing customers, and anticipating the needs of other operators, all of whom may have different short-, medium- and long-term LTE strategies. As always, Network equipment providers' roadmaps are driven by pragmatism as much as anything.

LTE-A networks will become commercial in many countries during the rest of 2014, and other LTE network operators will inevitably enhance their networks by switching on LTE-A features as they densify their network and seek to improve customers' experience.

Vendors have been responsive to the needs of their customers, and sought to enable those standards-based features that are most needed many now have solutions that can be upgraded in software to support multiple LTE-A features.

The market for LTE-A network infrastructure is likely to change as higher-powered chipsets find their way into smartphones and other user equipment. When that happens, trials will become commercial services, and rollout will accelerate across networks. When this happens, vendors that have proven experience with industry-leading South Korean operators (Ericsson and Nokia Networks) will be well positioned, as will those with breadth of experience across operator networks (Huawei).

LTE-A Infrastructure: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis summarizes the drivers of LTE-A network investment, and assesses the products and solutions offered by the leading LTE infrastructure vendors. It focuses on the breadth of the vendors' portfolios, the number of Release 11 and 12 LTE-A features they have enabled and the additional related capabilities they have developed, their success at selling their solutions, and the buzz they have succeeded in building around their approach to LTE-A. It applies a ranking overall to eight leading vendors, and describes their LTE-A approaches and offers.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (4gltei0814_toc.pdf)
Ranking the vendors assessed in this report involves making comparisons between companies that are not all playing the same roles in the market. The fact is, the market for complete wireless network infrastructure has consolidated to a handful of companies worldwide. Nonetheless, the breadth of assessment criteria mean that a ranking is possible. We gave equal weight to scores in each of the five criteria, since there would be little justification for applying any other weights in a general assessment. The scores for each vendor are compiled in the following excerpt.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Airspan Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRO); Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Shenzen: 002502); NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNF); Nokia Networks, a division of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK); Radisys Corp. (Nasdaq: RSYS); and ZTE Corp. (Nasdaq: ZTCOF).
Total pages: 15
JUNE 2014
LTE-A: State of the Market
This report looks at the state of the market for LTE-A networks and services. It reviews features of the 3GPP specifications for Release 10 and beyond. It also looks at availability of chipsets and devices supporting LTE-A features and gives the perspectives of eight leading vendors of LTE-A network infrastructure.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
JUNE 2014
Carrier Wi-Fi Roaming: Old Dog, New Tricks
This report identifies and analyzes key issues driving and inhibiting the market for carrier Wi-Fi roaming. The report is based on interviews with a representative sample of companies in the ecosystem.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
FEBRUARY 2014
5G Development Plans Begin to Take Shape
This report presents the 5G visions from operators, vendors and research groups. Some of the ideas may not ever see the light of day in a commercial network. But from these visions, there will one day emerge a workable 5G wireless system.
READ SUMMARY
Including table of contents, executive summary, and financial metrics
"I love the attitude. Keep it up!"
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- Cliff Arellano, President, Com-munications Products, Inc.
CONTRIBUTING ANALYST
Danny Dicks
Danny is an analyst and consultant with over 20 years' experience in technology markets who contributes regularly to Heavy Reading Insider.
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Danny Dicks
CONTACT AUTHOR
ANALYST
Tim Kridel
Tim writes for both Mobile Networks Insider and Cable Industry Insider. He has previously covered the wireless and cable industries for a number of research firms, including Heavy Reading.
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Tim Kridel
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ANALYST
Tim Sanders
Tim, president of The Final Mile Inc., is a frequent author, analyst, and industry speaker.
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Tim Sanders
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