Mobile access has become a neccessity not a luxury. Mobile operators are morphing and changing into utility-like companies, unfortunately this does not go hand-in-hand with the way mobile technology is evolving. Operators are not even close to tapping into the vast capabilities and strengths of their existing technologies and yet they talk about evolving and changing their infrastructure. It's good for a new player on the block to start with the latest "bleeding-edge" technology.. for the incumbants there are so many ways to enhance and increase their value proposition.
I'm increasingly convinced that the mere extension of cheap radio coverage into indoor and deep indoor areas has a great potential for operators. Moreover, using access points and repeaters to cheaply increase spectrum re-use many folds has a great advantage.
The choice between upgrading macro sites from UMTS to, say, HSPA+ (or LTE) and between increasing spectrum re-use a multiple folds (by using cheap access points or repeaters) is a no brainer to me, especially that the cost of adding access points and repeaters is on par with the cost of handset subsidy per user.