“Mobile network carriers are picking up the slack on infrastructure spending, increasing it up 8 percent quarter on quarter,” said Jake Saunders, VP for forecasting at ABI Research, in a statement. “However, 2009 is still likely to close down 4 percent to 5 percent compared to 2008.”?

“There has been a noticeable shift in spending toward 3G and 3.5G equipment,” said Saunders. “GSM infrastructure is still selling off the shelves for emerging markets, but in developed markets mobile carriers are expanding their 3G footprints and upgrading existing infrastructure to support HSDPA/HSUPA and even HSPA+.”?

The Chinese and Indian markets are likely to make marked contributions to equipment vendor revenues.

Despite the fanfare of a third round of contract awards for TD-SCDMA, China Mobile will need to roll out TD-SCDMA for several years to build out the coverage and quality of service to meet end-user expectations and traffic build-up. In China, the lion’s share of contracts have gone to Huawei, ZTE and Datang.?

In India, although the subscriber market is still one of the fastest growing and largest, average revenue per user is one of the lowest in the world. Indian carriers therefore have a narrower margin to remain profitable, and yet India has some of the most intense competition within its borders, and 3G licensing has just been completed.?

The year-on-year growth in installed base-stations will drop to 6.5 percent for 2009. However there are healthy signs that vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens are starting to ship 4G LTE equipment.?

ABI Research’s “Wireless Infrastructure Forecasts ” database covers a range of wireless base station data including vendor market share, infrastructure revenue broken down by region and technology; and new base station deployments, also presented by region and technology.

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