October 07, 2015 06:00 ET

New iGR Study Forecasts That U.S. Mobile Operators' Spending on LTE Infrastructure Will Total $212 Billion Over the Next Five Years

Study Forecasts Both Infrastructure Build Spending and Operational Costs

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - October 07, 2015) - Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks are now firmly established in the U.S. with the majority of mobile subscribers using LTE devices. To meet the increasing demand for mobile bandwidth, especially to support video, the larger mobile operators are in the process of upgrading their LTE networks and densifying the cellular architecture.

iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry, forecasts that the LTE market will continue to grow and dominate the U.S. mobile landscape for the foreseeable future. iGR also expects that subsequent versions of LTE and the associated new features will form the basis of new 5G networks in the next few years. To support additional LTE capacity, mobile operators are increasingly refarming 2G spectrum, as well as acquiring additional spectrum resources through auctions and private transactions.

The total LTE network build and operating costs are forecast to rise over the next five years, as more consumers use LTE, more devices are added to the networks and more bandwidth is consumed. iGR forecasts the total five-year spend to reach $212 billion. While iGR expects the overall LTE network operating cost to increase, the operating expense per GB will decline due to increased efficiencies in the network. This includes adding additional channels to existing cell sites and deploying new sites on roof tops, street poles and other 'small cell' locations.

"The U.S. mobile operators must continue to invest in their LTE networks over the next five years to keep up with increasing mobile demand," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR. "This expenditure will include both building and operating their LTE network, a network that will increasingly be densified with metrocells, remote radio heads, and DAS."

iGR's new market study, U.S. LTE Network Infrastructure Spending Forecast, 2014-2019 provides a five-year forecast for the LTE infrastructure build investment and network operating costs per operator in the U.S.. It also forecasts the spending split by network component and by macro cell sites, DAS and small cells. The study also provides a detailed status of U.S. mobile operators' LTE networks.

The following key questions are addressed in the new research study:

  • How much mobile data will the LTE networks carry in the U.S.?
  • How will the amount of data traffic carried on LTE networks grow in the U.S. in the next five years?
  • What is the forecast for the number of LTE subscribers in the U.S. in the next five years?
  • How much mobile data is each LTE subscriber expected to consume and how does this change?
  • Which operators are investing the most in LTE networks?
  • How much of the LTE network build and operating spending is for macro cell sites, DAS and small cells?
  • What is the impact of densification on LTE spending?
  • How much are U.S. operators investing in LTE both individually and in the aggregate?
  • How big is the LTE infrastructure opportunity in the U.S. in the next five years?
  • What is the share of LTE infrastructure spending on the network components in the next five years?
  • How big are the LTE operating costs in the next five years?
  • How do the network build and operating cost forecasts vary by operator?

The information in this market study will be valuable for:

  • Mobile network operators
  • LTE network infrastructure vendors
  • Small cell and DAS OEMs
  • Financial analysts and investors.

The new report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website at

About iGR

iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now in its fifteenth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile wearable devices; connected cars; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell and het-net architectures; mobile EPC and RAN virtualization; DAS; LTE; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

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