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The Coming Wave of 4G Innovation From Asia

Many analysts are referring to the 21st century as the Asian Century, with the region predicted to become the dominant shaper of global politics, culture and economics.

This certainly applies to the latest wave of innovation in the telecommunications sector, as mobile operators roll out ultrafast 4G services – think 100MB/second – under the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network standard.

“Asia already accounts for about 50 percent of the world’s 41 million LTE customers,” says Mar Pages, Principal at Delta Partners. “This is expected to grow tenfold to 400 million by 2017 and still constitute half of the global total.”

“Consumers are fuelling this need for speed as they upgrade to smartphones and tablets in growing numbers to access bandwidth-intensive multimedia content and become part of the ‘always on’ society,” adds James Ong, Manager.

Delta Partners, the leading advisory and investment firm specialising in telecommunications, media and technology (TMT), today releases a series of articles on LTE that assess the impact on mobile operators in the short to medium term.

The series consists of the following four papers:

  • Voice over LTE (VoLTE): Telcos face a conundrum. Operators upgrading to LTE are moving towards an all-IP network, which, next to ultra-fast broadband access, means transmitting voice calls as data packages (o la Skype), raising questions about the optimal timing for VoLTE deployment.
  • Pricing and products in an LTE world: As more operators in developed markets roll out LTE, correctly implemented economics are key to success. This paper offers guidance on optimal pricing in the context of different market environments.
  • Korea awakening: South Korea has emerged as the leader in LTE, overtaking Japan. Is this lead sustainable? We discuss the impetus behind its emergence and the lessons to be learned.
  • Samsung’s entry into the equipment race: Samsung Electronics has decided to enter the LTE equipment race, making substantial bets and setting ambitious targets. How likely are they to succeed?

“It is an exciting time to be in the eye of the storm,” says Amit Arora, Manager. “We expect Asia to drive much of the innovation in 4G, and the aim of this series is to examine and understand the key drivers and success factors.”

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