LTE adoption is growing at a pace that is considerably faster than the move from 2G to 3G, according to recent research from the GSM Association. The GSMA predicts that there will be 1 billion LTE connections globally by 2017, when LTE networks will also be available to half of the world's population.
To say that the connected car space is a massive new opportunity for wireless carriers is probably an understatement. Research from the GSMA predicts that this area will be worth $39 billion by 2018, an increase from $13 billion in 2012.
Including more Internet companies in the GSMA membership would get the carriers out of an insular mindset that treats over-the-top players as enemies. On the flipside, social networking and media distribution companies would benefit from having a seat at the table with wireless carriers.
Social networking giant Facebook joined the GSMA, signaling its intentions to become more deeply enmeshed in not only mobile devices but the standards and policy issues facing wireless carriers and vendors.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance said its ongoing collaboration with the GSMA to facilitate roaming between Wi-Fi and cellular networks has revealed that there are a couple of additional issues the industry needs to address: authentication signaling optimization and session continuity.
This week finally provided answers to ongoing questions about the future of Vodafone's 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless and Nokia's devices unit. Some industry leaders are worried about the impact these deals will have on Europe's efforts to regain its lost leadership in mobile innovation.
BRUSSELS--Europe has been falling behind in mobile innovation, as illustrated by its low LTE penetration compared to the US, and recent events such as Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices business and Vodafone's sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless will not help the region reverse this situation, according to Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabe.
Sprint and AT&T Mobility both appear to be preparing their networks for a launch of RCS-based messaging services, which the GSMA and some European carriers are promoting through the "joyn" brand. However, it remains unclear exactly how Sprint and AT&T will launch their respective services, and whether they too will offer them under the "joyn" brand.
More than 50 percent of new cars sold during 2015 will offer wireless connectivity either by embedded, tethered or smartphone integration, and that percentage will grow to include all or nearly all new cars sold in 2025, according to a report issued by the GSMA and conducted by research firm SBD.
EE may be feeling lonely as the only LTE operator in the UK so far, but it looks set to get some company soon as Vodafone gives more details on its investments and rollout plans. Over in France, Bouygues Telecom has also outlined plans for its launch later this year. This all adds up to some much-needed momentum for LTE in Europe.