21 January 2011
4G transition and tablets spurring growth of mobile communications
Growth in the wireless communications equipment sector will accelerate in 2011 driven by the transition to 4G wireless standards and the emergence of media tablets, according to iSuppli. The market analyst forecasts that factory revenue for wireless communications gear in 2011 will reach $302.7billion, up 20.6% from $251.1bn last year. It adds that growth in 2011 will exceed last year's climb of 15.1%, with no signs of a decline in the years ahead.
By 2014, iSuppli suggests that the industry will accumulate $413.3bn worldwide in equipment revenue. Encompassing an array of devices, the wireless communications equipment market includes mobile handsets, mobile infrastructure, mobile and fixed wireless broadband access devices, wireless LAN equipment such as routers, cordless phones and handset battery chargers.
Due to the migration to 4G, the largest portion of infrastructure capital spending by 2012 will be on the 4G wireless standard known as long term evolution (lte).
Francis Sideco, said: "The vendors that will win in the transition to 4G will be those that can best realign their core competencies to the new paradigms, forge these relationships, and leverage them."
Within the mobile communications market, wireless handsets and mobile communications infrastructure gear together account for more than 70% of overall industry revenues. iSuppli forecasts that mobile handset shipments in 2011 will reach 1.42bn units, up approximately 10% from 1.29bn units last year.
"Nonetheless, with the handset sector maturing, the industry is looking at mobilizing other types of consumer electronics devices that now have emerged as adjacent markets," added Sideco. "These devices include media tablets, netbooks, e-book readers, and portable media players. Because these devices use virtually the same products and solutions employed in the handset market for communications purposes, the wireless value chain now has an opportunity to expand its total available market, with just relatively minor modifications—if at all—needed to be made to existing products."
According to iSuppli, in terms of current volume, the new market for mobilised non-handset devices is driven by notebooks, netbooks and e-book readers. However, the re-emergence of tablets, such as Apple's iPad, has invigorated the overall wireless communications market and heralds the most promising growth.
Shipment of media tablets with embedded wireless wide area networking capability, such as 3G or 4G, are projected to grow to more than 18million units by 2014.
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