Uncommon Wisdom

Jan 7 2010   5:22PM GMT

Mobile smartphones lead to increased wireless backhaul investment



Posted by: Tom Nolle
Tags:
capex
capital expense
mobile backhaul
wireless

Mobile operators in the U.S., and in some other wireless-centric geographies, are pushing to deploy faster wireless services and to reduce wireless congestion through increases in cell density and better backhaul.

The pressure on capacity is almost totally due to smartphone deployment, and with netbooks and tablets coming along to further tax capacity, it’s not surprising that 2010 capex is shifting to mobile. In fact, 14 of the 44 operators we survey told us they were planning more mobile capacity in 2010 than they’d figured on as recently as their fall 2009 cycles.

The increased investment, for a time, will be covered by the conversion of users to full mobile data plans and by capacity payments still common in wireless. We calculate that in 2 years, though, this won’t be enough. That’s why mobile service-layer options are getting a lot of planning attention.

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