While WiMAX dominated the news over the last year or so, LTE will probably be the hot topic this year as deployments start to happen. ABI Research reports that more than eighteen operators globally have announced LTE deployment plans, and the tough economy does not seem to have dampened their enthusiasm.
ABI Research estimates that operators will spend over $8.6 billion on LTE base station infrastructure alone. Verizon has announced acceleration of its LTE deployment timetable, bringing the launch forward from 2010 to 2009. Many of the others are looking at a 2011-2012 time frame, by which time, they hope, much of the current pain will have passed. ABI Research believes that NTT will also deploy LTE in Japan in 2009 and in general, LTE application development will also drive investment as operators work to determine which services to deploy on this high speed, low latency network.
We will certainly see where things are heading at Mobile World Congress in Feb as everyone congregates in Barcelona, Spain.