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Indoor LTE coverage seen as competitive differentiator

Nokia and du claim first VoLTE call in the Middle East

A large number of operators feel that indoor LTE coverage is an important competitive differentiator today. When respondents to the Telecoms.com Intelligence Industry Survey 2014 were asked to rate on a scale of one to seven where seven represented “extremely important”, 44.4 per cent of respondents and 48 per cent of operator respondents scored indoor LTE coverage six or seven for importance as a differentiator.

Looking two years out both operators and the industry at large expect the importance of indoor LTE coverage to grow, with 53.4 per cent of respondents and 56 per cent of operator respondents scoring it six or seven for importance in two years’ time. Indeed 30 per cent of respondents—and 32.3 per cent of operator respondents—expressed strongly the belief that driving high quality indoor LTE coverage is more important than ensuring rural coverage based on geographical targets.

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Despite this, respondents reported that, in their market, operator activities are currently geared towards wide area coverage. Asked to characterise operator approaches to indoor coverage, almost half—48.7 per cent—said that in their market operators are today focused primarily on geographical rather than indoor coverage.

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Meanwhile 22.7 per cent said that operators are focused on providing good indoor coverage in public buildings, 16.5 per cent that they are focused on providing good indoor LTE coverage for all users and 12 per cent that they are concerned with providing superior coverage to enterprise customers.

A larger share of operator respondents than overall respondents (21 per cent) claimed that there was a focus on providing good indoor coverage for all. In early rollout phases operators can easily become stretched, however, and it was interesting to note that more than half of operator respondents—55.9 per cent—said they believe that a market exists to support specialist indoor LTE service providers. This number was even higher, at 57 per cent, for the overall base of respondents.

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The 2014 Telecoms.com Intelligence Global Industry Survey drew responses from more than 2,000 industry professionals, including more than 700 operator representatives. The full report from the survey will be made available in February. You can register to receive the report here.


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