The much anticipated deployment of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMax mobile networks will result in strong growth for makers of base station antennas and related products over the next five years, according to the latest report from the Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, a paid research service of Heavy Reading.
LTE & WiMax Antennas: Market Outlook identifies and analyzes key issues that affect the market for 4G antennas and related products. It discusses the advantages and disadvantages of technologies and designs, such as distributed antenna systems (DAS), broadband antennas, and remote radio heads (RRH), in terms of cost and deployment factors. Finally, the report profiles 11 leading companies in the market.
"To make good on 4G's promise of super-fast speeds - several Mbit/s today and up to 300 Mbit/s down the road - LTE and WiMax networks will need a strong signal and ample capacity, indoors and out," says Tim Kridel, research analyst with Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider and author of the report. "That requires a higher density of antennas, whether they are panels atop a tower or a DAS down at street level on a lamp post. High speeds also require greater manipulation of signals, going beyond common techniques, such as downtilting and receive diversity, and into new ones, such as beamforming and multiple input/multiple output [MIMO]."
With so many operators deploying or committed to LTE and WiMax, the market for antennas and related products will enjoy strong growth over the next five years, Kridel says. "Tower companies and their investors also should pay close attention to the 4G antenna market because the available technology options affect their tenants' need for space," he adds. "In the case of LTE, although the initial boom is in developed markets, there will be a loud echo afterward as operators in developing markets start upgrading from 3G."
Key findings of LTE & WiMax Antennas: Market Outlook include:
* Despite anticipated increased demand, pricing pressure in the antenna market will grow with the arrival of more low-cost competition from Asia.
* The global move toward managed services means that infrastructure vendors are now antenna buyers or influencers.
* Pricing pressure aside, operators are often willing to pay a premium for antennas with high reliability or opex-saving features.
* In-building coverage will be just as important as outdoor coverage for 4G/LTE networks, opening the door to wide-scale deployment of technologies such as femtocells.
* There is a healthy market for antennas combining 3G and 4G to minimize site lease fees.
LTE & WiMax Antennas: Market Outlook is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (6 issues per year) to Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).