#1 – HSPA
HSPA to the masses
The short version is that LTE is good and HSPA is great. LTE will indeed be commercially launched in 2010 and be surprisingly good considering that it is new technology. As with all new mobile technologies we will become more excited about what it promises for the future once systems are stable, coverage is built out and when there is an ample supply and variety of devices. Our biggest concern for LTE is the spectrum situation. As we learnt with WCDMA, take-up of a new technology gets significantly delayed unless it has spectrum available in “coverage” bands. The digital dividend band becoming available for LTE is just a starter for what is required for nationwide coverage and capacity of mobile broadband. Accelerated refarming of 900 and 1800 MHz bands is the solution.
The real blockbuster in 2010 is however HSPA. We know for sure that it adds top line growth for Operators while we sometimes wonder about margins, particularly in light of network impacts for devices like iPhone and its peers. 2010 is the year when the device market for HSPA will explode. The competition in chipset and device market for HSPA is fierce, which will lead to very low prices for HSPA devices leading to hockey stick type of take up for HSPA connections (we use a different model than IPCC though). Total number of HSPA connections globally will reach 400 million. Epicenter for this growth will be Unicom’s HSPA network in China, which already today is, with magnitude, the biggest HSPA network in the world. Any and all device players need to be there when millions of Chinese users are going for mobile broadband.