New analysis from Frost & Sullivan "Multiple Options but No Clear Winner for Voice and SMS over LTE," has found that due to the economic crisis, many operators are currently unwilling to deploy LTE that is service-limited on cash cows such as voice and short message services (SMS). Hence, the value of deploying LTE and then limiting the users to basic 2G/3G services is pointless.

"Regardless of the operator timelines for LTE deployment, there are several pending issues plaguing LTE, including lack of support for voice and SMS, incremental costs for backhaul capacity to support LTE data traffic, lack of sufficient spectrum allocation (a minimum of 20MHz) and a consensus of a globally harmonized frequency band for LTE deployment," said Frost & Sullivan ICT Program Manager Luke Thomas, in a statement.

SMS was never an intrinsic part of LTE (though all the current cellular broadband technologies support SMS) despite EU regulations for SMS requirements for roaming and to support customer-based service messages to avoid "bill shock." As SMS is used as the primary mechanism for advertising, remote device management and configuration updates, it will be quite a challenge for operators to deploy LTE without supporting SMS.

"Of all the concerns over LTE deployment, the lack of support for voice and SMS over LTE should be addressed first, as these segments currently constitute nearly 85 percent of global mobile service revenues," said Thomas.

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