From a humble start in 2010, the 4G wireless standard known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) has come a long way in just three short years. Information and analytics provider IHS (News - Alert) iSuppli’s latest report indicates that the technology is set to reach more than 100 million subscribers in the U.S.
Similarly, the research firm is predicting that worldwide LTE (News - Alert) subscribers will reach the 198 million mark in 2013, up a remarkable 115 percent from 92.3 million last year. That means, globally it will have more than doubled in 2013, says the market watcher.
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. The study suggests that by 2016, LTE will claim more than one billion users, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of 139 percent.
In a statement, Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at HIS said, “With LTE emerging as a true global technology standard, its ecosystem now faces both challenges and opportunities.” “Rapid adoption will drive design innovations, particularly in smartphone’s, 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,” added Lam.
According to the analyst, consumers increased appetite for faster content delivery, feature-rich applications and expansive mobile services prompted the wireless network operators to continue to build the infrastructure for LTE technology. While the majority of early operator activity was concentrated in Europe and Asia, North America propelled new subscriber activity in 2011 and 2012, says IHS study.
Another factor contributing to this growth is smartphone’s. According to the report, the proliferation of smartphone’s during the last two years has further driven the need for 4G LTE connectivity.
Edited by Carlos Olivera