ABI: LTE to handle more data traffic than 3G by 2016

LTE networks may have only accounted for just 2.9 per cent of mobile subscriptions at the end of the second quarter of 2013, but they are expected to account for slightly more than 20 per cent of the total data consumed on mobile networks worldwide this year, according to research firm ABI Research. After surpassing 3G networks in 2016, LTE networks will go on to capture two-thirds of data traffic by 2018, the company added. LTE data traffic will surge at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 82.2 per cent between this year and 2018. Underpinning this trend is the aggressive LTE network deployment by wireless operators and the expanding portfolio of smartphones and tablets, which are also falling in price. "These two factors work hand in hand to enable consumers to stream videos," ABI analyst Ying Kang Tan said. "Already, Verizon saw video accounting for 50 per cent of its network traffic earlier this year. ABI Research believes global annual video consumption will soar at a CAGR of 60.6 per cent to exceed 100 exabytes in 2018." Release