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It could be 2015 before long-term evolution (LTE) technology becomes economically viable in the UK, according to a new report.

Research conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media has indicated that internet service providers may not be able to make a financial case for LTE for another five years.

The firm found that existing HSPA-based 3G networks should be able to cope with mobile broadband demands in the short and mid-term.

Dimitris Mavrakis, a Senior Analyst for Informa Telecoms & Media, commented that mobile broadband providers are faced with "fierce competition" while margins from voice are shrinking.

"Even though there is growing demand for mobile data by smartphones and USB modems, current UK mobile network deployments are so dense that it would make the introduction of LTE both an investment heavy and somewhat unjustifiable decision," he stated.

"By upgrading current HSPA networks, UK mobile operators will be able to meet traffic demands and alleviate capacity constraints until 2015, after which the upgrade to LTE may be justifiable since economies of scale for hardware will have reduced infrastructure costs."

Earlier this week, a separate Ofcom report indicated that LTE technology will not come into use in the UK before 2014, due to regulatory requirements. 

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