LTE is gaining strong momentum and is expected to reach 592 million subscriptions, equivalent to 7.3% of all cellular subscriptions, by 2016.

To date, 35 mobile operators have launched commercial LTE networks, a range of 197 devices have become available and the technology is maturing since the first network became live in late 2009, according to a new report from Pyramid Research (

“LTE is the technology of choice for most mobile operators, and with strong momentum, we expect it to be the long-term, next-generation network technology of choice,” says Jan ten Sythoff, Pyramid Research analyst at large. LTE has already overtaken WiMax subscriptions in 2011, and the range of LTE devices has increased elevenfold in the past year.

The largest LTE device segment will be computers through 2014, as operators initially focus on mobile broadband access for computers. But after 2014, the computer segment will be replaced by smartphones, with operators announcing more and more LTE models.

“The heavy emphasis on videos will drive mobile data usage for operators, as will the fact that LTE is well-suited for cloud-based computing thanks to its high bandwidth,” Sythoff explains.