Mobile broadband companies will spend $3.3 billion (£2 billion) building Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks and base stations in 2011, it has been claimed.
According to a new report from ABI Research, the global expenditure on infrastructure for the mobile broadband technology is enough for 142,000 base stations worldwide.
Between 2011 and the end of 2012, LTE equipment spending was projected to rise sharply - possibly as more operators set their next-generation mobile broadband trials live.
Nadine Manjaro, a senior analyst at ABI Research, said: "Vendors will be shipping base station equipment in significant quantities in 2010 ahead of limited trials that typically last about a year."
She added that while there may be some sharing re-use of existing mast and cabinet equipments, new base stations will need to be manufactured to include the components necessary for LTE to stand separately from older, 3G networks.
Earlier this month, a senior technology expert from Vodafone claimed that LTE can provide a realistic alternative to fibre-optic broadband.