LTE RF Issues Create Opportunities for Antenna & Device Makers, Heavy Reading Says

Antenna and device makers are finding current LTE RF issues allow new ways to be competitive in quality and price in the market, says Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider

Jun 7, 2013

BOSTON, June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Vendors are realizing that radio frequency (RF) design is vastly important, and current design issues offers emerging antenna vendors opportunities to be more competitive in quality and price, according to the latest report from Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, a paid research service of Heavy Reading (

LTE RF Design: Problems & Opportunities identifies and analyzes key issues affecting the market for antennas and other RF components for LTE devices. It explores how vendors are responding to LTE's challenges with active antennas, tuning circuits and front-end products such as Qualcomm's RF360, which supports 40 bands. This report is based on interviews with a representative sample of RF vendors and mobile operators from around the world.

"This report was finalized just as some iPhone 4 owners were receiving $15 checks as part of a class action settlement for 'Antennagate' – the mini scandal that erupted after initial buyers reported dropped calls and other signal-related problems based on how they held their iPhone," notes Tim Kridel, research analyst with Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider and author of the report. "It's not a stretch to call Antennagate a wake-up moment for Apple and other device vendors, their suppliers and mobile operators in terms of showing how RF design directly affects everything from brand reputation to the bottom line."

Current challenges add up to major, emerging, long-term opportunities for antenna vendors and other RF companies to differentiate their products and compete on more than just price, Kridel says. "Consumers and enterprises are upgrading to LTE because device vendors and operators have convinced them that it's blindingly fast compared to 3G," he continues. "So when LTE fails to live up to that expectation, customers inundate operator call centers and social networks with questions and complaints. Antennas and other RF components are critical for meeting that expectation and avoiding the support costs, churn and brand hits that are the unwelcome alternatives."

Key findings of LTE RF Design: Problems & Opportunities include:

  • Band fragmentation and legacy fallback are two major challenges for LTE RF designers
  • Qualcomm's recent expansion into the RF front end business shows how LTE's challenges also are business opportunities
  • Qualcomm's new RF360 solution won't single-handedly enable LTE global roaming or solve fragmentation
  • LTE's unique requirements makes it easier for antenna vendors to escape the commoditization trap
  • Digital cameras and other consumer electronics devices are adding LTE, but their OEMs often lack RF design experience
  • Teamwork between RF designers and industrial designers could mitigate problems such as head and hand detuning

LTE RF Design: Problems & Opportunities is available as part of an annual single-user subscription (6 issues per year) to Heavy Reading 4G/LTE Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900 (single-user license).

To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: For more information on all Insider services, please visit

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
Heavy Reading

Press/analyst contact:
Jennifer Baker
Marketing Director, Light Reading Communications Network

About Heavy Reading (
Heavy Reading is an independent research organization offering deep analysis of emerging telecom trends to network operators, technology suppliers, and investors. Its product portfolio includes in-depth reports that address critical next-generation technology and service issues, market trackers that focus on the telecom industry's most critical technology sectors, exclusive worldwide surveys of network operator decision-makers that identify future purchasing and deployment plans, and a rich array of custom and consulting services that give clients the market intelligence needed to compete successfully in the global telecom industry. As a division of UBM Tech (, Heavy Reading contributes to the only integrated business information platform serving the global communications industry.

SOURCE Heavy Reading