Global LTE subscribers set to more than double in 2013
January 23, 2013 | Jean-Pierre Joosting | 222903608
Just three short years after the technology’s original deployment, worldwide subscribers to the 4G wireless standard known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) are projected to surpass the 100-million mark this year.
Page 1 of 2LTE subscribers worldwide will reach 198.1 million in 2013, up a remarkable 115 percent from 92.3 million last year, according to an IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications Special Report.
Since being adopted in 2010 with just 612,000 users, the 4G next-generation wireless technology has grown by leaps and bounds, surging by an astounding factor of 22 to 13.2 million subscribers in 2011, and then jumping another 599 percent in 2012 to nearly 100 million subscribers. By 2016, LTE will claim more than 1.0 billion users, as shown in the figure attached, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of 139 percent.
With LTE emerging as a true global technology standard, its ecosystem now faces both challenges and opportunities, said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. Rapid adoption will drive design innovations, particularly in smartphones, but issues like spectrum fragmentation will also remain an overhang for the LTE industry that requires attention. Overall, however, the LTE space will be less worried about rifts or divisions in technology, and more concerned with laying the foundation for sustained growth across the entire LTE landscape.
Globally, wireless network operators have been continually building the infrastructure for LTE technology, driven by increased appetite among consumers for faster content delivery, feature-rich applications and expansive mobile services such as social networking. While the majority of early operator activity was concentrated in Europe and Asia, North America propelled new subscriber activity in 2011 and 2012.
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