The Middle East is expected to be an "LTE powerhouse" with an expected 18.3 million subscriptions across nine MEA countries by 2016, according to a report from Pyramid Research.
The report however warns that before the advantages of LTE can be measured, operators must carefully consider the design of the LTE network that they deploy. They must also be vigilant about when and why to make the LTE upgrade.
The report further examines the current status of LTE in the Middle East and the congestion found on 3G networks. It also serves suggestions for a future LTE rollout, and how to enhance customer experience by expanding data-carrying capacity as well as reach.
Ronda Zelezny-Green, associate research analyst at Pyramid Research says, "In countries like Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates – we have seen great interest in LTE technology, ranging from full-blown rollouts to trial demonstrations.” This could primarily be because most of these countries already have high levels of mobile phone penetration, and their customer bases have high levels of disposable income along with a zest for the latest technology.
In order to maximise the ROI for LTE, the network rollout must be carefully handled. Operators that have already launched will have to surpass hurdles and encourage successful management of LTE networks if they are to meet with success. "Before the benefits of LTE can be realised, operators must carefully consider the design of the LTE network they deploy, as well as when and why to make the LTE upgrade. Operators must also team LTE rollouts with pricing plans that are in reach of their target consumer base and clearly outlined, and ensure that existing and potential customers understand and appreciate the inherent value of making the switch to LTE," Green concluded.