Caught between lower capital expenditure by carriers and demands for new technologies, such as LTE, EPC and IMS, many telecom equipment providers are being forced to use off-the-shelf solutions for new system development. 

Off-the-shelf solutions can dramatically reduce total cost of ownership for both equipment providers and their customers enabling quicker time to market and lower development costs (see Capex Likes Standards). ATCA is the leading standardized platform for telecom and computing applications that require high availability. ATCA components and applications ready systems are available from over 50 vendors ranging from chassis and blades to fully integrated systems. Off-the-shelf OS and middleware solutions are also available from software vendors or pre-integrated into application ready systems. 

LTE is now recognised as the technology of choice for 4G wireless networks across the world. Many carriers are also planning to implement EPC (Enhanced Packet Core) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) to realise the full potential of LTE to support high-speed data and voice services. By using off-the-shelf solutions telecom equipment providers are accelerating product development. Initial trials are taking place during 2009 with early deployment in 2010 and a full rollout planned by multiple operators starting in 2011 with CAPEX for Global LTE Base Station 2011 Estimated at $3.3 Billion. Subsequent years will require significantly higher Capex to deliver 4G services worldwide. 

By using off-the-shelf solutions telecom equipment providers can deliver greater value to carriers as they deploy these new technologies and roll out 4G services. Down the road the use of standardized platforms such as ATCA should deliver further dividends for carriers as they seek to upgrade these systems to support additional services.