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4G Weekly Digest

April 8th, 2009 - Volume 4, Issue 19

LTE Activity Around the World
By Cintia Garza, 4GCounts Team Lead and Market Analyst, CALA Contact the author at cintia@maravedis-bwa.com

Many mobile operators around the world are now planning to deploy LTE. About 120 operators have committed, at various levels to trial, deploy, migrate, etc. How many operators will actually do so remains to be seen, since good LTE performance requires significant spectrum resources, and an entirely IP-Network architecture. We nevertheless know that LTE will gain traction. Maravedis conducted research regarding how many operators had actually made official announcements of their LTE plans, and counted less than 40 who are already trialing or who intend to migrate their 3G/HSPA networks to LTE in the future. As for the WiMAX operators, we have found that not many of them are looking at LTE for the moment – it is understood that WiMAX and LTE address the needs of two distinct groups of service providers with a few notable exceptions such as KT, who embraces both. Both LTE and WiMAX promise data speeds of more than 100 megabits per second, but delays to WiMAX’s deployment and an acceleration of LTE’s roadmap have given the latter a certain momemtum . While some players in the industry, including both service providers and equipment vendors, believe that LTE will replace or compete against WiMAX, others see WiMAX as able to coexist with 3G and LTE, which has been adopted by some of the world’s largest mobile operators such as Verizon and AT&T in United States. APAC is the most active region in terms of numbers of operators planning or implementing LTE networks. China Mobile is building out its 3G TD-SCDMA network, more than 60% of which will be able to migrate to LTE in the future. Its counterpart, China Telecom, also plans to migrate its CDMA mobile operation to LTE. The operator will initially focus on rolling out EV-DO Rev A in key cities before moving to LTE in two to three years’ time. In Korea, Korea Telecom faces a dilemma as to whether to opt for WiBro or LTE as potential 4G mobile technologies after its planned merger with Korea Telecom Freetel (KTF), the country’s mobile phone service provider who favos using LTE on its existing 3G network. On the other hand KT’s rival, SK Telecom, forsees a commercial launch of LTE in 2013. The company will pursue both LTE and WiBro, but will not support voice service with the latter. SK views WiBro more as a complimentary service to its existing voice network providing high speed data connection in hotspot locations. In Europe, T-Mobile (Germany) could be one of the earliest operators to deploy LTE technology, since it plans an LTE pilot by the end of 2009, with the aim of upgrading its EDGE/UMTS/HSPA network to LTE. The joint venture between Swedish operators Telenor and Tele2 is one of the most well known LTE commitments today; the two companies are planning to jointly construct the network and share spectrum in the 900MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands. TeliaSonera (Sweden) will be an early LTE adopter with rollout planned in mid-2010. It has already bought licenses in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and the Baltics, and has teamed up with various equipment vendors for the LTE launch. 2.6GHz is a favored spectrum for LTE spectrum in Europe, but Finland has chosen to auction off spectrum

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in the 1800MHz band for future LTE deployments. The spectrum has been allocated to TeliaSonera, Elisa and DNA, which will make Finland the first country in Europe to allow the use of 4G LTE technology at such low frequencies. Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications believes that using 1800MHz will be a better option, as it offers better penetration, wider coverage and lower cost to deploy compared to the 2.6GHz spectrum. Finland is planning to hold a spectrum auction for frequency ranges between 2500-2690 megahertz, which are primarily reserved for wireless broadband. The auction is slated for November 2009 and licenses would be issued for a maximum period of 20 years. In North America, the United States is the country with the highest number of LTE commitments today. There are at least 5 mobile operators actively trialing or planning their LTE roll-out, including T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Alltel, Metro PCS among others. The Canadian giants, Bell Wireless, Rogers Wireless and Telus Mobility have also revealed aggressive plans. In the U.S., network operators such as AT&T and Verizon will use 700MHz to deploy LTE networks. The quietest regions in terms of LTE commitments are Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Telefonica ran a couple of LTE trials in Barcelona early this year, but hasn’t revealed its plans on in which Latin American markets it will go to first. Telefonica has operations in most Latin America markets including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, and others. The top 30 mobile operators committed to LTE account today for 1.1 billion mobile subscribers, of which 447 million correspond to China Mobile. Many of these subscribers are served with GSM, 3G or HSPA technologies and will be migrated to LTE in the future. The second half of 2012 is when we are likely to see LTE really gain momentum. Maravedis is tracking both WiMAX and LTE operators with its operator tracking service 4Gcounts. Visit www.4gcounts.com to learn more about each operator deployment. For more information you can contact the author at cintia@maravedis-bwa.com Copyright © 2009 by Maravedis Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without consent.

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