3G Generates an Inevitable Growth for the Global Refarming Market

Published: 16 Apr 2010

Shanghai, April 16, 2010 - With the progress in the third-generation (3G) technology standards, deployment, and governments' ratification, the refarming technology has been mature and is likely to accelerate growth, according to Frost & Sullivan's market tracker, "Refarming Industry Development Analysis".

Given carriers' challenges, such as GSM coverage shrinks as UMTS shares the same antenna, Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and Operating Expense (OPEX) increased by UMTS introduction. The ways to protect legacy investment of GSM equipment becomes increasingly important.

At 900MHz, networks can be built and operated with the cost savings of about 50.0 percent to 70.0 percent when compared to networks deployed in the 2.1GHz core-band 3G spectrum. These coverage and cost-saving benefits imply that carriers can bring 3G services to less densely populated areas that were previously uneconomical to cover.

According to Frost & Sullivan, refarming presents both technical and financial opportunities for carriers worldwide. The use of low-frequency spectrum to deliver 3G services will ensure greater coverage and network capacity at the pivotal point of the market. With the number of 3G handset subscriptions set to increase exponentially through 2014, moving 3G service to the 900MHz spectrum will provide a solution to the inevitable growth in data usage and network traffic.

Refarming technology will be a key to enabling mobile broadband coverage in areas other than the major population centers, said Cheney Ji, ICT senior analyst with Frost & Sullivan. Liberalizing the usage of the 850/900MHz frequency bands, in which 2G GSM/CDMA services currently operate, to allow carriers to evolve their networks in these bands to newer technologies such as UMTS/HSPA is a significant emerging trend, which will extend the reach of 3G services, such as mobile broadband, to suburban or rural areas not covered by carriers' existing 2100MHz 3G networks.

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