Heavy Reading

LTE Base Stations & the Evolved Radio Access Network

Mobile data services delivered over 3G networks are proving to be extremely successful, with revenues growing at approximately 40 percent per year. Operators now have a relatively clear view of how services can develop over the next decade, both in mature markets and emerging growth economies.

Lower prices are a clear market driver for 3G data services. To support the ongoing expansion of the mobile Internet, retail prices must continue to decline on a cost-per-bit basis. This need to offer lower prices, without compromising profitability, has emerged as the primary challenge and opportunity facing operators that wish to deliver mass-market mobile broadband services.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, standardized by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), is designed to meet this challenge through greater spectral efficiency and enhanced application performance. With LTE emerging as the leading choice for next-generation wireless networks and experiencing unprecedented adoption by operators around the world, there is potential to generate vast economies of scale unmatched by any previous generation of broadband access technology.

On the end-user side of the equation, LTE will enhance application performance through higher data rates and lower latency. The effect will be to enhance the value of mobile networks and attract users and applications to the platform while reducing underlying costs and creating favorable conditions for profitable mass-market mobile broadband services over the next decade.

LTE Base Stations & the Evolved Radio Access Network analyzes the technology and business factors that will drive LTE network deployment, with a focus on the radio access network (RAN), cell site implementation, and the LTE base station products under development by leading equipment suppliers.


In addition to mapping out the key technology issues and challenges that must be met before the anticipated commercial launch of LTE products in 2010, the report provides Heavy Reading's first-ever forecast of LTE rollouts and market revenues, through 2015. The report also contains detailed analyses of the LTE strategies now being developed at nine leading 4G technology suppliers, focusing on each company's prospects for long-term success in this critical mobile technology sector. Suppliers are analyzed by the following key criteria:

LTE strategy and background
eNodeB product strategy
Smart-cell products
Self-organizing network strategy

For a complete list of technology suppliers reviewed and analyzed, click here.

LTE Base Stations & the Evolved Radio Access Network also includes case studies of four of the world's largest mobile network operators, to identify and explore emerging strategies regarding 4G deployment plans. Operators analyzed in the report include:

China Mobile
Verizon Wireless

The design and capability of LTE base stations, called eNodeBs, is critical. These products will determine the technical performance of the next-generation wireless network and account for the largest proportion of operator spending on infrastructure equipment.

Equally significant is how base station product design can contribute to reducing the non-technology related costs of deploying and operating a network. Although base stations are the single most significant equipment cost at the time a network is deployed, the associated costs of cell site leases, civil works, power supply, cooling, backhaul, and site maintenance account for a substantially greater proportion of overall expenditure on the RAN.

[click on the image below for the full excerpt]

[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Equipment designed to reduce these costs by being simpler to install, operate, and upgrade can have a major impact on the overall business case for mobile broadband, and is as significant to lowering the delivery cost per bit as LTE technology itself. Even with superior spectral efficiency and enhanced end-user experience, LTE will not be viable unless base station equipment can be designed to significantly reduce the "non-technology" costs of building and operating wireless networks. Equipment suppliers that can best deliver on this requirement, without compromising performance, will be best positioned for a long-term competitive advantage.

Report Scope and Structure

LTE Base Stations & the Evolved Radio Access Network is structured as follows:

Section I is an introduction to the report, with complete report key findings.

Section II examines the evolution of the wireless market and the rise of mobile broadband. It provides a subscriber forecast for LTE and an estimate for the potential LTE network equipment market through 2015.

Section III explores LTE technology, addressing key issues such as spectrum and terminal availability. It also identifies the key milestones on the way to the hoped-for commercial launch of LTE in the 2010 timeframe.

Section IV analyzes LTE network performance from the perspective of peak data rates, average throughput per sector, and spectral efficiency. Various LTE configurations are contrasted with baseline HSPA (Release 6) and Evolved HSPA (Release 7) to determine the level of performance advantage LTE provides relative to 3G.

Section V examines LTE cell site implementation and provides a cost breakdown of the "all-in" cost for each new cell site deployed. Base station designs that minimize the costs are explored in the context of multi-standard RANs operating 2G, 3G, and LTE simultaneously.

Section VI focuses on LTE base station design choices and the impact that eNodeB pricing will have on base station packaging, form factors, and product architectures.

Section VII presents some potential LTE deployment scenarios with reference to globally influential operators China Mobile, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and NTT DoCoMo.

Section VIII Section VII analyzes the eNodeB product strategies of nine leading mobile network equipment suppliers.

LTE Base Stations & the Evolved Radio Access Network is essential reading for a wide range of industry participants, including the following:

Mobile technology suppliers: How will soaring mobile data traffic volumes affect deployment plans for LTE? Which technology choices are emerging as the front-runners in the move to 4G? Are your product strategies and marketing messages in line with customer plans and expectations?
Mobile network operators: How do your plans for next-gen mobile broadband data deployments match up with anticipated increases in traffic volumes? How does your 4G migration strategy compare with the strategies of your competitors? How do your projected costs and migration timetables match up with the rest of the industry? What is the competitive threat posed by other operators using other technologies?
Investors: Which suppliers are emerging as the early leaders in the LTE sector? What are the likely impacts of LTE deployment on network operator and technology supplier revenue and profitability? How will the migration to LTE affect profitability for the mobile sector in the coming years?

LTE Base Stations & the Evolved Radio Access Network is published in PDF format.

PRICE: $3,995
Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
Gabriel Brown tracks wireless technologies and services for Heavy Reading, focusing on wireless data networking technologies such as 3G/HSPA, WiMax, and LTE. He has covered the wireless data industry since 1998, previously as Chief Analyst of Unstrung Insider...
Click here for a full list of included vendors.
Click here for a full list of included operators.
61 pages of analysis covering the emerging LTE technology sector and network operator migration to 4G architectures
Heavy Reading's first-ever forecast of LTE product revenues through 2015
Concise analysis of the economic and performance issues that will drive LTE deployments worldwide
Detailed analysis of vendor strategies regarding long-term product development strategies in the LTE sector
PRICE: $3,995
To view reports you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, it can be obtained for free at the Adobe web site.