A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts a rapid uptake of 4G LTE mobile technology in the next five years, with active connections crossing the one billion mark in 2017 and reaching 1.8 billion by 2019. This will represent 22% of the global active mobile SIM connections by this time.
The report from the research group finds that, with the rate of LTE network commitments and roll-outs at an all-time high, network and device vendors have significantly improved their position to offer products and solutions to network operators. The GSA (Global Mobile Suppliers Association) confirmed that 168 manufacturers have announced 1,889 LTE-enabled user devices, including operator and frequency variants, along with 300 commercial network launches.
Juniper found that TD-LTE (Time Division LTE – using unpaired spectrum) will indeed play a major role in global deployment. Driven by China, Japan and India, TD-LTE will see an increased network roll-out from other parts of the world.
”TD-LTE will play a significant role, especially in the emerging markets, pushed by China Mobile’s need to support TD-LTE and accelerate its commercial deployment in China. There are 36 commercial TD-LTE networks and we expect active TD-LTE connections to demonstrate a higher annual growth rate when compared to FD-LTE (Frequency Division) over the next five years,” says report author Nitin Bhas.
Additionally, the three leading Chinese operators including China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have announced a joint infrastructure company to share network resources. Other key findings from Juniper include:
° Far East & China will account for the majority of the 4G LTE service revenues by 2019.
° Nearly 1-in-3 smartphones shipped this year will be LTE enabled with manufacturers expected to ship more 4G enabled devices relative to 2G/3G devices.