Evolved Packet Core Market More Than Doubles in 1Q14

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The global macrocell 2G 3G 4G mobile infrastructure market totaled $10.7 billion in 1Q14, down 2% sequentially, but up 11% from 1Q13, driven by strong LTE rollouts in China, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

According to Infonetics Research, during 1Q14, EPC grew 77% quarter-over-quarter and 129% year-over-year, while E-UTRAN rose 25% sequentially and 81% from a year ago.

The top 5 vendors in the 2G/3G/4G mobile infrastructure space are, in alphabetical order, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and ZTE. The Chinese vendors got a serious boost from their home market where China Mobile and China Telecom are undergoing massive LTE rollouts.

"In the first quarter of 2014, LTE almost fully offset the abyssal decline of 2G and 3G and was characterized by an interesting dynamic: the tremendous growth of the evolved packet core (EPC) and E-UTRAN," reports Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research. "E-UTRAN was driven by the ongoing second wave of fresh LTE rollouts, and EPC was fueled by first-wave LTE adopters' core capacity upgrades."

Infonetics forecasts the global LTE equipment market to grow at a 1% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2018, when it will total $14 billion. Global 2G/3G/4G software revenue is expected to grow at a 5-year (2013-2018) CAGR
of 8.7%.

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