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The The future of 3G: the case for decommissioning

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3G subscriber numbers are declining, and even 3G data traffic has peaked in some countries, but it still provides a useful service for the bulk of users. Based on discussions with operators at different points in the 3G/4G lifecycle, this report assesses how far operators should continue to invest in 3G.

About this report
 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 The value of 3G is questionable because 2G voice coverage is ubiquitous, and 4G offers a significant capacity boost
 Decommissioning 3G networks can unlock significant benefits for operators, but faces a number of challenges
 Recommendations
 BENEFITS OF DECOMMISSIONING 3G NETWORKS
 Decommissioning 3G networks before 2G allows operators to make use of spectrum that is suitable for providing increased capacity in urban areas
 Cost savings can be achieved with refarming and without full network decommissioning
 Network-related challenges to decommissioning 3G are limited
 Extensive 4G coverage and spectrum use in developed markets is already making 3G decommissioning a viable option
 Good profitability levels for low usage 3G subscribers may act as a constraint on 3G network decommissioning in some markets
 HANDSET ISSUES
 Migrating 2G handsets will present more challenges than migrating 3G handsets
 2G handset migration may be slower than 3G handset migration and this is the case for Telenor Norway
 The difference between the cost of 4G and 3G handsets cost is a relevant issue in emerging markets, but not in developed markets
 Handset replacement cycles and handset brands are also important considerations in decommissioning 3G networks
 ROAMING, M2M AND VoLTE ISSUES
 Loss of inbound roaming revenue is a consideration when decommissioning 2G and 3G networks
 Extensive 4G coverage and spectrum use in developed markets is already making 3G decommissioning a viable option
 The implications for M2M are significant when decommissioning 2G and 3G networks
 Decommissioning legacy M2M connections will involve significant cost
 In many cases, the need to preserve M2M connections will significantly delay decommissioning of 2G networks
 VoLTE is a barrier to decommissioning both 2G and 3G networks but could also be used to help drive the decommissioning process
 ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND ANALYSYS MASON


List Of Figures

Figure 1: 3G share of active mobile connections, by region, 2014 and 2019
 Figure 2: 3G traffic as a proportion of total mobile network traffic, by region, 2014
 Figure 3: Challenges in decommissioning 2G and 3G networks
 Figure 4: Mobile data traffic, worldwide, 2008–2015
 Figure 5: 4G population coverage by selected developed market operator
 Figure 6: Data usage per SIM for 2G, 3G and 4G by developed region, 2014
 Figure 7: LG Uplus service ARPU by technology generation, 2Q 2015
 Figure 8: Handsets by technology generation, Telenor Norway, September 2015
 Figure 9: 2G-only handset share by selected market, end 2014
 Figure 10: 3G- and 4G-enabled handsets, Telenor Norway, 2Q 2013–1Q 2015
 Figure 11: Prepaids share of connections (excluding M2M) by region, 2015
 Figure 12: 4G handsets as a percentage of the total number of handsets retailed by selected operators, August 2015
 Figure 13: 2G and 3G connections as a share of the total (excluding M2M), by region, 2020
 Figure 14: Number of countries covered with outbound roaming by selected LTE operator, August 2015
 Figure 15: M2M connections by technology, 2014 and 2017
 Figure 16: Operator-retailed handsets supporting VoLTE as a proportion of total LTE handsets, by selected operator, August 2015


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Reports Details

Published Date : Oct 2015
No. of Pages :31
Country :Asia-Pacific
Category :Information Technology
Publisher :Analysys Mason Limited
Report Delivery By :Email
Report Delivery Time :12 to 24 hours after placing the order.

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