Friday, 21 August 2009

Will Operators Subsidise Consumer Electronic Devices to Help Foster LTE Subscriptions?

Thomas Noren, Head of Product Line LTE at Ericsson’s Networks business, predicted that the cellular industry will one day manage 50 billion connections across the globe, with each person owning a variety of connected devices.

Although, HSPA has already enabled laptops and video cameras to have wireless connectivity, this will continue with LTE. Operators will be looking to connect numerous devices and machines to other machines or to human beings in a different way to what we’ve seen so far.

Migrating existing customers over to LTE as soon a the network is switched on will be difficult and this will have to be a gradual process. Mobile phones, computer and consumer electronic devices including notebooks, netbooks, ultra-mobile PCs, gaming devices, cameras, and PMPs will incorporate embedded LTE connectivity. LTE and multi-mode ICs and devices are scheduled to become available in 2009. The ecosystem is clearly coming together in time for the first networks due to go live in 2010.

With mobile handset sales in decline, mobile operators are using already their subsidies to push sales of other consumer electronics devices such as netbooks and e-book readers to help foster mobile broadband subscriptions. But will this trend continue with LTE devices. Operators have already indicated that they are not keen on subsidising devices in the future and are hoping that consumer electronics manufacturers will take on some of this cost, although this is not likely as the IPR costs for consumer electronics comapnies is already very high.

Thomas Noren will be participating on the executive keynote panel at the LTE Asia conference in Hong Kong on the 8th and 9th of September.

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