At least a dozen operators will launch LTE in 2010, connecting more than 34 million people worldwide by the following year, according to ABI Research.
The operators that have committed to LTE include Japan's NTT DoCoMo and KDDI and Korea's KT and SK Telecom. China Mobile intends to launch in 2011.
“Spectrum availability is the primary factor impacting deployment plans,” ABI senior analyst Nadine Manjaro said. “In countries where telecommunications regulators are making appropriate spectrum available, many operators have announced plans to launch LTE.”
European operators TeliaSonera, Tele2 and Telenor, as well as US operators Verizon, MetroPCS and US Cellular also intend to launch LTE next year.
Ericsson and Huawei are already showing themselves to be formidable LTE players, winning several infrastructure contracts and being favored to secure several more, ABI Research said.