458 million dual-mode LTE devices activated by 2016


Maravedis-Rethink projects 458 million dual-mode (TD-LTE + FDD-LTE) devices activated by 2016, according to the latest research report titled "Global 4G Device Forecast 2012-2016."

LTE is expected to account for 97% of the industry's total of 4G-enabled devices by 2016, reaching 572 million activated devices. By contrast, WiMAX devices activated will decrease by 52% over the next five years, accounting for only 3% or 17 million by 2016.

"Multi-mode devices supporting FDD-LTE+3G, and TD-LTE+WiMAX, emerged during 2011, accounting for 62% of the total LTE devices active at the end of that year. This occurred as more mobile operators sought to add LTE to their offering. We expect that 95% or 545 million devices will be multi-mode by 2016," commented Cintia Garza, author of the report.

"By 2016, more than 80% of LTE devices activated worldwide will be dual-mode, meaning they will support both FDD and TDD duplexing modes. We however expect a far slower adoption of TD-LTE than anticipated in previous quarters, given that China might not deploy TD-LTE until at least 2014. By the end of 2016, we anticipate 89 million TD-LTE subscribers and 350 million FDD-LTE subscribers," added Garza.

Smartphones and tablets are the most promising devices in the 4G device market. The report predicts tablets will grow from 55 million in 2011 to nearly 208 million in 2016. Apple iOS will be the most popular operating system for tablets for the next six years, accounting for 46% of the market by 2016, followed by Android, which will account for a 33% market share by the same point.

However, in smartphones, Windows operating systems will overtake iOS by 2016, taking 21% of the sector, ahead of Apple's 16.5%. It will still be well behind Android, with almost half of the market.

Additional Research findings:

  • By 2016, smartphones and tablets will dominate the 4G device market, accounting for 40% and 24% of the total 4G device market share respectively.
  • APAC and Europe will account for the largest number of smartphones and tablets activated by 2016.
  • By year 2016, 95% of the tablets will be 3G/4G enabled.


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