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Mobile Network Macro Base Station Deployments

Mobile phone usage is changing and becoming richer with applications. The movement from 2G to 3G is helping to facilitate instant messaging and web-browsing. Given the high cost of wireline broadband Internet access in some parts of the world, a mobile phone will be the way many experience the Web for the first time.

Now, video-intensive applications are being accessed by mobile phones, which is adding to the traffic growth on mobile networks globally. As a result, the number of macro base stations deployed will increase to over 6 million by 2014, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

"The amount of infrastructure spending in China, India, and the U.S. is mind boggling," says Chris Kissel, Industry Analyst at In-Stat. "Over one third of new base stations deployed from 2011 to 2014 will be in China, India, or the U.S., resulting in a substantial shift in the structure of the industry."

Clearly, CAPEX spending will move industry leadership from Western Europe to the wireless Big Three nations -- comprised of China, India and the United States.

Although the surge in cellular infrastructure spending is global, there are regional and even local differences as to which technology is being employed and supported.

This factor has been instrumental in the development of the largest trend in macro base stations, which is the ability to facilitate multiple air-links.

Major mobile operators are making networking upgrades at sites using the same racks and wiring, in addition to enabling software-defined radio (SDR) base stations -- in order to create an environment where mobile operators can upgrade their networks as needed.

In-Stat's market study uncovered the following:

- Asia-Pacific region spent over $22 billion in each of the three years from 2008 through 2010.

- In Canada, new base stations grew 30 percent in 2009 and another 22 percent year-over-year in 2010.

- In the Philippines, there are roughly 1,500 active base stations supporting 802.16e WiMAX.


- France will deploy nearly 7 thousand LTE base stations in 2014.

- Nigeria will deploy almost 5 thousand GSM GPRS & EDGE/EDGE+ base stations in 2011.

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