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Components Makers Scramble to Develop LTE Strategies
When 3G networks were first deployed, service providers primarily used them to offer voice services. With the recent advent of smartphones, consumers are really now using the bandwidth offered by 3G as they email pictures, surf the Web, and use networked platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, and enterprise applications). As more consumers buy smartphones, service providers have been rudely awakened by the growing amount of traffic that has been generated. In light of this situation, service providers are considering an evolution to 4G technology.

The majority of applications on today's wireless infrastructure, predominantly 3G deployed worldwide, are traditional voice calls along with text and picture messaging. For data, consumers had a broadband connection at home and/or work through their LAN. The advent of Internet and multimedia phones has shown service providers the potential of wireless data services going beyond what is offered today. Service providers worldwide continue to deploy 3G networks, but they see the need to prepare for an LTE buildout.

As Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure emerges and commercial deployments occur, companies that played in the WiMax space are beginning to consider how they can sell their solutions into LTE customer devices. This report looks at those companies that have announced they are developing chipsets to take advantage of the LTE opportunity. Suffice to say that LTE handsets will not be available commercially for another few years. However, these companies are already hedging their bets so as not to miss the transition from 3G to LTE.

The potential of mobile broadband services continues to grow as smartphones become more pervasive. WiMax has been limited primarily to greenfield deployments. Both incumbent service providers and Tier 1 network equipment providers have been moving instead toward LTE as the next step in evolving the existing 2G/3G wireless infrastructure.

LTE deployment with be the true proving ground for multicore offerings, as the LTE infrastructure has yet to be built out to support mass deployment of mobile broadband services; service providers have yet to exhaust 2G/3G infrastructures. Semiconductor companies feel the pressure to offer integrated solutions while having to process and manage growing amounts of traffic. As they integrate existing silicon, there remain many combinations of silicon that will support equipment makers and service providers in the interim. Nevertheless, the potential to see true integration at the silicon level will be high for this latest network evolution.

Components Makers Scramble to Develop LTE Strategies details and analyzes LTE chips and technologies, identifying the key advantages they hold for equipment manufacturers on the network and end-terminal side. It also surveys component availability and reviews features, performance, and flexibility. The report covers solutions from 11 vendors that have announced they will pursue LTE opportunities and profiles their go-to-market strategies.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (uni0210_toc.pdf)
The following excerpt compares 3G with WiMax and LTE. WiMax and LTE are similar in terms of the underlying technology, but differ primarily in the equipment to be deployed in their infrastructures. From a service provider perspective, one benefit of transitioning to 4G will be "flattening out" the access architecture, as the base station controller (BSC) and radio network controller (RNC) are no longer required in the access network.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Altair Semiconductor; Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM); Cavium Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: CAVM); ComSys Communications & Signal Processing Ltd.; Freescale Semiconductor Inc.; LSI Corp. (NYSE: LSI); Mindspeed Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPD); NetLogic Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: NETL); picoChip Designs Ltd.; Sequans Communications; Transwitch Corp. (Nasdaq: TXCC); Wavesat Inc.; and Wintegra Inc.
Total pages: 19
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