Report: LTE ARPUs to peak in 2012 before slipping downward

LTE service revenues will enjoy an 80 percent cumulative average growth rate over the next five years, reaching $291 billion at the end of 2016, according to a new report from Mind Commerce.

However, the firm predicts LTE ARPUs will begin sliding as LTE moves beyond early adopters. "Driven by early adoption among the enterprise users, LTE ARPUs will peak in 2012, reaching $88 per month, and drop down by a Y-o-Y (year-over-year) decline of 16 percent over the next five years as the consumer market segment gains a higher market share," said Asad Khan, Mind Commerce's lead analyst for 4G infrastructure, devices & services. At the end of 2016, LTE ARPU will be $36 per month, he added.

Mind Commerce's figures show that LTE subscriptions, having already surpassed 7 million, are set to grow at a CAGR of 150 percent over the next five years and will reach 600 subscriptions by the end of 2016. "At the end of 2016, the Asia Pacific region will have 290 million LTE subscriptions," Khan said.

"While the Asia Pacific region will attain the highest number of LTE subscriptions by 2016, the North America and Western Europe regions will retain market leadership in terms of service revenues, accounting for almost 60 percent of all LTE service revenues worldwide," he said.

Mind Commerce estimates that in 2016 as many as 30 percent of all LTE subscriptions will be based on TD-LTE as prominent TD-LTE networks, such as China Mobile's planned deployment, reach maturity.

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