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LTE maintains momentum, becomes fastest growing mobile technology

in Blog, 4G, LTE

Since first commercial deployment in December 2009 and slow progress in first half of 2010, 4G LTE has become fastest growing mobile technology. According to a recent GSA report, the number of operators investing in LTE has increased 98% since June 2010, while the number of firm deployment commitments has doubled (107%) during same period.

As per GSA database, 24 LTE commercial networks are already live while a further 52 operators in 19 countries are engaged in LTE trials or studies. GSA has forecasted that at least 91 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2012. If prediction stands correct then it would amount 280% growth in one and half year.

In a separate report Pyramid Research has predicted that emerging markets will capture more than half of the LTE market share in Asia-Pacific by year-end 2016. In all, Pyramid Research expects LTE to reach 238.1m subscriptions by year-end 2016, comprising 5.8% of the Asia-Pacific total mobile subscriptions. In the developed markets, the figure will be 29.4%, and in emerging markets, it will be 4.0%.

ABI Research puts commercial LTE network deployments to 28 to date. ABI Research cautions that needed spectrum may not be available as countries such as Taiwan will not be ready for such LTE spectrum auctions any time soon, because the 700MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands, the most suitable for LTE, are still occupied.

Looking at the HSPA numbers from GSA, there are 410 commercial HSPA operators in 162 countries. LTE has long way to go before catching up with its predecessor but current trend indicates that its on track of long term role of providing high speed data services.

LTE roaming among operators and across various supported bands is another challenge. However it is expected to become reality as LTE subscription and deployment grows.

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