Research points to solid growth for LTE, HSPA

ABI Research said Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) activation of 500,000 LTE-enabled devices and the 25,000 LTE subscriptions added by Japan's NTT DoCoMo in the first quarter highlights the strong demand for faster wireless data connections.

"We believe LTE adoption will take off more rapidly than expected, with more operators announcing network launches and existing players widening network coverage," said ABI Research analyst Fei Feng Seet in a release. "And as mobile data speeds increase, the idea of replacing fixed lines with wireless connections becomes more popular among consumers."

The firm said the overall wireless telecom industry has now passed 5.5 billion subscriptions. In North America, ABI Research estimates that mobile subscriptions will number 387 million by 2016. Of that number, nearly 85 million are expected to be LTE subscriptions.

In another report, research house Maravedis forecasts that the global LTE market--for both FDD and TDD equipment--will increase from about $1.5 billion in 2011 to more than $13 billion in 2016.

In related news, the GSMA announced that HSPA connections are expected to reach 500 million globally by the end of June. It also said LTE has now reached 1 million connections-- a year-and-a-half after the first commercial network launched. The GSMA, using data from Wireless Intelligence, predicts the industry will reach 1 billion HSPA connections by the end of 2012, and LTE will reach 300 million by 2015.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Cellular-News article
- see this report excerpt

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