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The LTE-A carrier aggregation: benefits and challenges of deployment for operators

The LTE-A carrier aggregation: benefits and challenges of deployment for operators

LTE-A carrier aggregation roll-outs are gathering pace as the technology continues to evolve. This report examines the benefits of LTE-A carrier aggregation, the strategies operators have used when rolling it out and some of the best ways to monetise a deployment.


About this report
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Executive summary
LTE-A carrier aggregation is continuing to be enhanced, leaving operators with decisions about how to use the technology
LTE-A carrier aggregation can aid revenue growth, but operators must carefully consider their marketing and pricing strategies
Recommendations
PERFORMANCE BENEFITS
LTE-A carrier aggregation significantly boosts maximum theoretical aggregate speeds and a variety of frequency combinations is possible
LTE-A carrier aggregation can deliver significant capacity benefits, but these depend on several factors
HARDWARE SUPPORT
LTE-A carrier aggregation coverage will initially lag behind LTE coverage
Vendors have announced chipsets that support tri-band LTE-A carrier aggregation
Category 4 LTE-A devices are prevalent, but the number of devices to support 300Mbps is limited
CASE STUDIESMoves to increase data allowances after launching LTE-A carrier aggregation have been limited outside South Korea
Vodafone has launched LTE-A carrier aggregation in several countries
LTE-A roll-outs in South Korea have not enabled competitive differentiation, but operators have launched unlimited data plans
The launch of LTE-A in South Korea has contributed to growth in mobile data traffic, service revenue and ARPU
LTE-A subscribers in South Korea are taking bundles with high volumes of dataOperators in South Korea will continue to upgrade their LTE-A carrier aggregation deployments
Dissatisfaction with data speeds is not the most important driver for customers wanting to change mobile provider
Higher data speeds would encourage subscribers to increase their mobile data usage
Increasing data allowances after LTE-A carrier aggregation can deliver benefits for operators
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ANALYSYS MASON
List of figures
Figure 1: LTE-A carrier aggregation milestones, February 2015
Figure 2: LTE-A carrier aggregation enhancements
Figure 3: MNO revenue since the introduction of LTE-A carrier aggregation, South Korea
Figure 4: LTE-A carrier aggregation network speed by selected operator
Figure 5: LTE and LTE-A carrier aggregation coverage by selected operator, February 2015
Figure 6: Timeline for LTE-A chipset and device availability, January 2013–December 2014
Figure 7: Number of category 6 LTE-A devices by selected operator
Figure 8: Selected Vodafone LTE-A carrier aggregation deployments
Figure 9: LTE–A carrier aggregation frequencies by operator, South Korea
Figure 10: LTE data traffic, South Korea, November 2013–November 2014
Figure 11: Service ARPU by operator, South Korea, 3Q 2012–3Q 2014
Figure 12: Reasons given by respondents for planning to change their mobile provider
Figure 13: Reasons given by respondents for encouraging them to make use of their mobile Internet service more
Figure 14: Reasons given by respondents for attracting them to their next mobile tariff/contract"

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