The strain on current 2G and 3G networks caused by the rapid rise in mobile data traffic is forcing operators to bring forward their plans for rolling out LTE. The number of operators who are already committed to LTE is at an all time high with many already into the testing phase. A new study by Juniper Research predicts that the real surge in LTE subscriber numbers will begin around 2012 with the research company forecasting 300 million LTE users by 2015.
Countries with the greatest GDP will drive the jump in LTE, says Juniper, which predicts that the top three regions--North America, Western Europe, and the Far East and China--will account for 90 per cent of LTE subscribers in another five years. But on a more global scale, LTE access will reach only about 1 in 20 subscribers across all developed nations by that time. Initially, LTE is most likely to be offered as a premium-level service in business and urban areas and as a way to deal with overcapacity of existing networks.
"Although 1 in 20 globally is low overall, in fact our research found that usage levels will be significantly higher in other regions, such as North America, where it will be closer to 1 in 5 as major operators plan rollouts in the next six months," commented Juniper analyst and report author Howard Wilcox.
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