LTE TDD winning wide acceptance
The time division flavour of LTE, LTE-TDD, has gained wide ecosystem acceptance and backing from leading infrastructure and device vendors, leading analyst house Ovum to predict that 25 per cent of all LTE connections will be on LTE TDD by 2016.
The researcher said that LTE TDD has moved well beyond being a Chinese-specific technology and has already been adopted by operators in Japan, the Middle East, and Europe.
“The biggest market opportunities for LTE TDD will come from its deployment to support mobile broadband services,” said Daryl Schoolar, a principal analyst in Ovum’s Network Infrastructure practice. “Other opportunities will include its use as a fixed wireless broadband network and for small cell backhaul.”
Mobile operators such as Softbank in Japan, Optus in Australia, Hi3G in Sweden and Denmark, and STC in Saudi Arabia, have gone or are going the multimode LTE FDD/TDD route as part of their existing GSM and WCDMA/HSPA networks.
“Combining multiple standards such as GSM and WCDMA/HSPA and LTE FDD and/or TDD will grow the overall network capacity and increase quality of service. This is just a small part of it; the bigger opportunities lie in operators deploying it as their primary 4G network, such as Bharti Airtel in India and Mobily in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, LTE TDD provides cost benefits due to the price of unpaired spectrum, which can be passed on to end users,” said Schoolar.
Ovum anticipates wide support from the infrastructure, device, and chipset communities for LTE TDD, with growth in production volumes and choices continuously increasing. Huawei and a number of other vendors support multi-mode, multi-band devices, with market estimates placing total commercial devices at over 60.
“As LTE TDD becomes more common with mobile operators, a vendor’s 2G, 3G, and LTE FDD success is just as important as that vendor’s early LTE TDD deployments. Thanks to multi-standard base stations, mobile operators will look to the same vendors that deployed their 2G/3G and LTE FDD networks to deploy their LTE TDD networks,” said Schoolar.