Capital expenditure by mobile operator community to decline in 2011
Mobile operators are steadily getting a handle on the mobile data traffic boom that is rippling through their networks, as smartphones and apps downloads redefine the end-user mobile experience.
ABI Research estimates that $12.5 billion will be spent on mobile gateways, subscriber databases, IMS, session border controllers, and software switch/media gateways in 2011. That represents an increase of 4.2 percent year-on-year.
Aditya Kaul, mobile networks practice director at ABI Research, said: â€œOperators are investing significantly in their core network architecture, not just to speed up the throughput on their networks but also to make those networks more efficient and aware of the traffic passing through them.â€
Jake Saunders, vice president for forecasting, said: â€œYes, operators will need to invest significantly in 4G. But they will be striving to reuse existing cell-site towers, backhaul infrastructure and core network data centers. The initial strategy will be to secure as much population coverage as possible for the most efficient investment profile.â€
While 4G will require upgrades to radio access networks, backhaul, and core network architectures, operators are also seeking optimized products and services to maximize their return on investment.
Operators will increasingly rely on outsourcing their network management to vendors and on small-cell technology for base station deployment, as well as embracing offload strategies (Wi-Fi , content delivery networks, direct tunneling) to maximize network efficiency.
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