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LTE for fixed access

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Published Date : Sep 2016

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No. of Pages : 72 Pages

The next big thing?
In developed countries, the deployment of superfast broadband (SFB) is today one of the hottest topics in connection with the convergence of fixed and mobile. Plans for replacing a landline with a mobile line are nothing new.

The substitution by LTE of fixed broadband started to be offered by mobile players two or three years ago in European markets.

  • Many players are jumping onto the bandwagon, displaying a variety of strategies in a fast-moving industry.
  • The business case for fixed LTE is clearly there – whilst rather limited in advanced countries, it is wide open in developing markets.

The key question is if fixed LTE technology is going to win the race against fibre and hybrid and, if so, when? Today, LTE for fixed access appears to be the least expensive option to provide medium speeds in rural areas. The option of hybrid solutions combining xDSL and LTE is becoming a worthy competitor.

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary
1.1. Market drivers
1.2. Technical solutions: what makes fixed LTE technically different from mobile LTE?
1.3. Players' strategies
1.4. The market for LTE fixed
1.5. LTE for fixed access: which economic conditions?

2. Methodology & definitions
2.1. General methodology of IDATE's reports
2.2. Definitions

3. Market drivers
3.1. Factors driving LTE fixed success
3.1.1. Advantages of LTE
3.1.2. Fixed speeds can be significantly affected by physical/technological aspects
3.1.3. Coverage
3.1.4. Availability of spectrum in low frequencies
3.1.5. Speed-based tiered pricing
3.2. Factors constraining LTE fixed deployment
3.2.1. LTE speeds
3.2.2. Blind spots still hamper rural LTE coverage
3.2.3. Volume-based tiered pricing / unlimited offers
3.2.4. Consumption / usages

4. Technical solutions: What makes fixed LTE technically different from mobile LTE?
4.1. Fixed LTE versus other technologies
4.1.1. Fixed versus mobile LTE
4.1.2. TDD competing technologies
4.1.3. Satellite
4.1.4. Hybrid solutions
4.2. Technical aspects
4.2.1. Throughputs
4.2.2. Range of fixed LTE services
4.2.3. External outdoor antennas or integrated indoor solutions
4.2.4. Core network
4.2.5. Power emission level
4.2.6. Advantages and drawbacks of TDD and FDD modes
4.3. Frequency bands used for LTE fixed access
4.3.1. Most popular bands for fixed LTE access
4.3.2. Other bands used or to be used in the future

5. Players' strategies
5.1. Operators
5.1.1. CDMA2000 players 'Migration to LTE 450 for survival'
5.1.2. PHS/WiMAX players 'Migration towards TD-LTE'
5.1.3. Satellite players
5.1.4. 'LTE as a substitute to fixed' gives a boost to mobile players, forcing fixed-only players to strike deals with mobile players
5.1.5. 'LTE as a complement to DSL – hybrid solutions combining DSL and LTE accesses' enlarges potential market for integrated players
5.1.6. 'Fixed wireless LTE' as a tool for OTT to eat into mobile revenues
5.1.7. 'Fixed wireless Internet' as a tool for LMDS revival and 5G first use case
5.2. Equipment manufacturers

6. The market for LTE fixed
6.1. The LTE fixed use case
6.2. The mid-term window of opportunity
6.3. Assessing the potential addressable market

7. LTE for fixed access: under what financial conditions?
7.1. LTE for fixed access
7.2. Fibre optic network capex assessment
7.3. Hybrid LTE/xDSL access
7.4. TCO – Synthesis

8. Annexes
8.1. FTTH (Fibre To The Home) architecture
8.2. FTTx/DOCSIS 3.1 architecture
8.3. FTTN (Fibre To The Node) architecture

9. Glossary

List of Table

Table 1: Line length and spectrum width affecting speeds
Table 2: Theoretical speed and flow-rate fluctuations, by technology
Table 3: Comparative table on variables' sensitivity on speeds
Table 4: Outdoor LTE coverage in a selection of countries
Table 5: The three major new LEO constellation projects
Table 6: Understanding MIMO and order modulation effect on performance
Table 7: Frequency range and coverage
Table 8: Members of 3GPP supporting the work item on a new power class UE in LTE Rel. 10
Table 9: Different industry strategies
Table 10: Comparison of key features of fixed UFB solutions
Table 11: Comparing LTE fixed access with fibre optics and hybrid access
Table 12: Fixed access - General assumptions
Table 13: Fixed access - capex assumptions
Table 14: Fixed access - opex assumptions
Table 15: Fixed access - Traffic assumptions
Table 16: Fixed access - Capacity assumptions - LTE Release 10
Table 17: Fixed access - Capacity assumptions - LTE Release 12
Table 18: Fibre optic - capex assumptions - Fibre optic costs
Table 19: Hybrid access - Network capex assumptions
Table 20: Hybrid access - STB capex assumptions
Table 21: Hybrid access - opex assumptions
Table 22: TCO assessments
Table 23: Comparison of key features of fixed UFB solutions

List of Chart

Figure 1: Comparison of fixed and mobile broadband growth in Sweden, H1 2008-H1 2015
Figure 2: Comparison of fixed and mobile superfast broadband growth in Sweden, H1 2008-H1 2015
Figure 3: Comparison of advertised average speeds (DL/UL) in OECD countries
Figure 4: Estimated xDSL connection speeds, by distance from the exchange
Figure 5: Geographical breakdown of 1 Gbps fixed connection plans
Figure 6: Comparison of rural household coverage between fixed (xDSL, FTTP, DOCSIS x.0, WiMAX) and mobile broadband (HSPA, LTE)
Figure 7: Comparison between fixed and mobile broadband usage in developed country, in 2014
Figure 8: Comparison between fixed and mobile broadband usage in emerging country, in 2014
Figure 9: Comparison between LTE-CA (Carrier Aggregation), LTE-LWA (LTE Wi-Fi Access) and LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed)
Figure 10: The different releases of XGP
Figure 11: AXGP roadmap
Figure 12: Relation between XGP 3.1 and XGP 3.2
Figure 13: WiMAX evolution path towards TD-LTE
Figure 14: UQ strategy and roadmap for introduction of WiMAX 2
Figure 15: Capacity of various Ka-band satellites
Figure 16: Why latency is higher for satellite communication than with terrestrial solutions
Figure 17: Coverage attained by constellation of LEO satellites
Figure 18: Minimum throughput required, depending on stream definition
Figure 19: Comparison of IP-level congestion vs TCP-level congestion
Figure 20: Percentage of advertised speed actually attained, by access technology, in Germany, in 2012
Figure 21: Breakdown of subscribers by speed class for fixed LTE services, in Germany, in 2012
Figure 22: Delivery range of an eNodeB
Figure 23: External antenna system provided by Telenor
Figure 24: LTE architecture
Figure 25: Coverage benefit brought by UE power class 2
Figure 26: Comparison of coverage in given area between NBN and its competitors*
Figure 27: What is the best technology for providing wireless / mobile access in rural areas?
Figure 28: LTE device ecosystem
Figure 29: Roadmap for trials and auctions for 3.5 GHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands in France
Figure 30: Depth of XO LMDS spectrum
Figure 31: MulteFire roadmap
Figure 32: The DT 10-year copper network life extension with hybrid
Figure 33: Deutsche Telekom 'integrated' strategy
Figure 34: Comparison of wireline and wireless technologies in the next five years
Figure 35: Households with DSL connection (not upgraded to VDSL), thousands, national level
Figure 36: Overall fixed broadband coverage in Europe in 2014 (% of households)
Figure 37: LTE coverage in Europe in 2014 (% of households)
Figure 38: HSPA coverage in Europe in 2014 (% of households)
Figure 39: Fixed broadband connections distribution by DL speeds in the USA
Figure 40: Proportion of households with Internet access
Figure 41: FTTH P2P architecture
Figure 42: FTTH PON architecture
Figure 43: FTTx/DOCSIS 3.1 architecture
Figure 44: FTTDP/ G.fast architecture
Figure 45: Relevance of VDSL solutions according to fibre connection point

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