2G/3G mobile infra market marks positive growth

CIOL Bureau
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CALIFORNIA, USA: The worldwide 2G and 3G mobile infrastructure market grew two percent in 3Q10, to $8.8 billion, says market research firm Infonetics Research.


The overall market is still down year-over-year (-20.7 percent from 3Q09), when the market was inflated by massive 3G rollouts in China.

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Stéphane Téral, Infonetics Research’s principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure, said: “As we anticipated more than a year ago, in the third quarter of 2010 the mobile infrastructure market was marked by the start of 2G capacity upgrades and modernization projects, sustained but slowing 3G activity in North America, and the start of 3G rollouts in India."


All major segments of the market posted sequential gains, including radio access network (RAN), mobile switching subsystem (MSS), mobile packet core, and home location register (HLR) equipment.

"Despite the misleading ‘4G’ pandemonium in the US, 2G is back in full force and will keep the planet busy for the next few years as global mobile penetration reaches 100 percent,” adds Téral.

Since its peak of $42.5 billion in 2008, annual spending on just RAN equipment -- base transceiver stations (BTS), base station controllers (BSC), and remote radio heads (RRH) -- is dropping almost $10 billion, to an expected $33.4 billion in 2010.


The GSM RAN equipment market bounced back in 3Q10, up 12.5 percent sequentially, led by major 2G capacity upgrades in China and India.

Ericsson remains the King of the Radio, with double the revenue market share of its nearest competitor, Nokia Siemens, for worldwide macrocell RAN equipment.

In the mobile packet core equipment segment -- in which Ericsson is also #1 -- just three quarters ago the spread between #2 Nokia Siemens and #3 Cisco was about 13.5 percentage points; in 3Q10 the distance between them is only two percentage points.

The number of mobile subscribers passed the five billion bar in 2010 and is on track to hit six billion between 2012 and 2013.

With the worldwide population now at 6.9 billion, it is very likely that mobile penetration will exceed the global population in the near future.