According to Infonetics Research, older wireless networks such as EDGE and HSPA will remain for operators even though LTE rollouts continue to expand across the country. Infonetics found that nearly 75 percent of survey respondents are running EDGE networks to enable new services and enhance user experience. However, those operators that do not have EDGE also do not see a need for it.
Even with companies rolling out LTE, the same companies will continue to rely heavily on 3G technology to help with customers outside of LTE coverage area. As the research notes, those outside-LTE networks will soon “require serious HSPA+ upgrades.”
“EDGE and HSPA/HSPA+ have a long tail and remain strong despite the onslaught of LTE deployments. However, some of the HSPA+ traction we saw among mobile operators last year is diminishing because of the current move to LTE, which we qualify as the second wave of rollouts characterized by hundreds of small footprints,” notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.