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Q: Cost of a cellular and/or PCS installation ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Cost of a cellular and/or PCS installation
Category: Computers > Wireless and Mobile
Asked by: holtfasner-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 19 Jan 2003 20:49 PST
Expires: 18 Feb 2003 20:49 PST
Question ID: 145769
I am looking for hardware, not installation, charges for a 2.5g or 3g
site.  This would include antennas, switches, backhaul, radios, and
associated equipment.  I would be happy with either US or foreign
data.  Pointers to pdf or powerpoint files would be appreciated.

Request for Question Clarification by rippo-ga on 22 Jan 2003 11:06 PST
Hi holtfasner,

I've spent a good deal of time researching your question. I have an
estimate for the cost of deploying a 3G cell site (in euros) from a
research organization, as well as that cost relative to the cost of
the price of a 3G network. I am able to pass along links to detailed
PDF white papers, government research studies, press releases and
other such documents (domestic and European) that reveal meaty market
data about 3G, including annual revenue per subscriber estimates
(global by region), user segmentation estimates, annual operator
revenues, infrastructure investment considerations (e.g., % erosion in
price over time and/or quantitative usage vs transmission rate
considerations, etc)  as well as detailed market forecasts (e.g.,
worldwide revenues) for this decade. (One link in particular lists
corporate 3G white papers by year from 1997 through 2003, which
provides easy access to 3G white paper research.)

My question clarification is this: Are you most interested in the cost
of each specific piece mentioned in your question, (e.g., cost of
radio, cost of antenna, cost of backhaul, cost of switch) or the
overall cost of deploying a site (which I have an estimate of) as well
as detailed supporting data/PDF/research links surrounding the
deployment of 3G sites domestically and abroad? For example, I was
able to find an estimate for the cost of installing a fixed wireless
backhaul link, but not radios or antennas or switches specifically,
though as I mentioned, I DO have an estimate for what I believe is
your primary interest: the cost of deploying a 3G site.

If you are interested in the overall cost plus supporting white
papers/research documents, I am happy to post my answer with all the
links I found to white papers, government research studies and press
releases at the original price of this question. However if you are
interested in the other information, I will leave it to you to tell me
whether you are still interested in the information I have.
(Alternatively, since I will be providing you with links to research
yourself, I'm happy to post the information I have under a new
question you can post at, say, half the price.)

Any clarification on the above appreciated, and I look forward to your


Clarification of Question by holtfasner-ga on 22 Jan 2003 13:08 PST
Hi rippo-ga,

I am looking for the total cost of a 3G cell site, not the prices of
individual components.  Therefore, the data you referenced in your
message will close the question I posted.

Thank you for your assistance.
Subject: Re: Cost of a cellular and/or PCS installation
Answered By: rippo-ga on 22 Jan 2003 18:14 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Below are two estimates of the cost of deploying a cell 3G site that
seem to cross confirm each other. In addition, below these estimates
are a series of links to 3G corporate white papers by year, 3G
research articles, press releases and the latest White House Council
of Economic Advisers' Study on the Economic Impact of Third-Generation
Technology (2000).

According to PA Consulting, mobile operators and network equipment
suppliers are seldom willing to discuss costs of building a 3G cell
site or network, hence there is some difficulty in finding this data.
However PA Consulting expects that to procure and build a prime cell
site to cost up to several hundred thousand euros. As a relative
guideline, this company anticipated the cell site cost to account for
60-70 percent of the cost of a 3G network. To put this into clearer
perspective, in the UK, this company expects each 3G network to cost
between $1.5bn and $2bn, while German networks could be 2x that cost.

Here is the link to the January 2001 article quoting this estimate of
3G site deployment:

Jan 2001 Press Article on Research Company PA Consultants Quoting Cost
of 3g Site Deployment:

A link to a Januray 2001 white paper on mobile infrastructure that is
EXTREMELY RICH IN DATA is listed below. The most relevant data per
your interest may be found on page 92:

Mobile Infrastructure (Restoring Investments in 3G), Jan 2002
Go to... 
...and click on the link titled "2002", then the sublink titled
"Mobile Infrastructure" (second link from the bottom of the page)

P. 92 of this white paper contains a tremendous amount of valuable
info, but I summarized the main discussion point for you here:

The financial terms of the AMENA contract in Spain revealed critical
information on the pricing of WCDMA radio equiment from suppliers
Ericsson and Siemens/NEC. The producers of this white paper construed
that the per subscriber investment costs should amount to 400 pounds.
A WCDMA base station equivalent was price estimated at 150,000 pounds
- this number was derived from the total budget of 900,000,000 pounds
dedicated to equipment for the construction of a network comprising
6,000 base stations over five years.

There is further discussion on page 92 of this white paper and I
strongly recommend you read through this section, as well as any other
sections detailed below or others that capture your interest. Note
that this white paper also contains THOROUGH discussion and data on 3G
deployment for each of the following regions: North America, Latin
America, Western Europe, Asia-Pacific
(China, Japan, Korea), ROW as well as a thorough detailing of many of
the major suppliers (Nokia, Motorola, Sprint, Ericsson, etc.)

For your convenience, I have taken some time to highlight sections of
this white paper in particular that may be of greatest interest to

Page 2 - Mobile systems market broken down by 2G & 3G investments 2000
- 2006
Page 4 - 3G Supplier revenues by region and technology
Page 11 - Estimate of how many actual 3G handset devices will be on
the global market in 2003
Page 30 - 34 - Investment requirements (Operator Revenues, Annual
Revenue Per User, User traffic growth estimates, infrastructure
investment considerations)
Page 35 - Operator profitability discussion
Page 38 - 3G market growth charts/discussion (broken out by
investments, spending and technology)
Page 46 - Projected 3G revenues by global region and technology
Page 63 - Global mobile systems revenue growth by 2G & 3G segment
Page 74 - 2G & 3G supplier market shares

The link above contains a list of white papers from from Nokia,
Ericsson, Sprint, Fujitsu, the UTMS Forum, NTT DoCoMo and many others
(most in PDF format) sorted by year from 1997 through 2003. You may
choose to look into other white papers listed there:

Many of these white papers contain extensive market data about 3G
deployment, revenue opportunities, market projections, and much more
information that may be relevant to your interests. Here are a few
links from the longer list of white papers which I believe contain
information best suited to your interests. (Note that all links
directly below can be found under the links to each year in the main
link of above; also, I highly suggest saving the PDF
docs to your hard drive as I was unable to access them directly from
the web):

Under the 2002 link:

Title: Evolution to 3G/UMTS Services, Nov 2002
Note: the above direct link may not work, just go into the page of
white papers and click to it by title if it doesn't
Page 4: CHART - Worldwide Demand for 3g Services by Revenue
Pge 14/15: CHARTS - Global Spectrum Situation Before/After WRC-2000 by

Title: UMTS 3G Market Forecasts, Mar 2002
Note: the above direct link may not work, just go into the page of
white papers and click to it by title if it doesn't
Page 8: Worldwide mobile subscribers with 3G network access (2001 -
2010 forecast)

Under the 2001 link:

Title: Realistically Forecasting 3G Revenues and Users, Dec 2001
Note: the above direct link may not work, just go into the page of
white papers and click to it by title if it doesn't
Pages 17 - 21: Solid 3G revenue forecast detail by region, technology,

Finally, you may choose to view the White House Council of Economic
Advisors' Study on the Economic Impact of Third-Generation Technology:

Though the above piece of research was written in 2000, it gives some
solid perspective on the direction of 3G at the head of this decade
from the government's perspective, which can impact
spending/investment over the coming years.

I hope the information above meets your needs! Thank you in advance
for rating this answer, and please do not hesitate to post a question
clarification if you have any questions from here. Good luck, and
thanks for using Google Answers!

Best regards,


Jan 2001 Article on Research company quoting cost of 3g site

List of white papers/reports on 3G by year:

White House Council of Economic Advisers Study: Economic Impact of
Third-Generation Technology:

White paper on cellular backhaul using wireless mesh technologies
(good discussion of 2/3G):,+switches,+backhaul,+radios+site+equipment&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Press release about French company backing away from 3g costs:

PA Consulting article about how 3G licensors overpaid:

White paper on broadband technologies (good discussion on broadband


cost 2.5g 3g antennas, switches, backhaul, radios site equipment
cost deploy 3g site
holtfasner-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Wow!  Amazingly detailed information in a very short time frame.  The
answer is completely on topic with the data sources I requested.

This is my first time using the Google Answers service and I am
thouroughly delighted!

Would love to do business with rippo-ga again!

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