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  4. > 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.

Table Of Contents

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

Table of contents


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 STUDIES
Moves 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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