LTE commands the lion's share of the wireless market's momentum toward 4G. However, according to a new report by Juniper Research, only 300 million mobile subscribers worldwide will be using the next-generation technology by 2015.
The report concluded that most of the growth in LTE subscribers will occur after 2012, but noted mobile operators are now turning to the network technology to address surging mobile data traffic. Juniper said HSPA and other 3G technologies will continue to do the heavy lifting for the next several years.
"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," Juniper's Howard Wilcox said in a release.
Indeed, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) plans to launch 25-30 commercial LTE markets in the fourth quarter, and MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) is also launching LTE service later this year. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) plans to begin deploying LTE next year.
The report said LTE will achieve its strongest growth in North America, Western Europe, the Far East and China, with those markets accounting for 90 percent of the market by 2015. Additionally, the report said, the industry is considering new pricing models for LTE to replace existing data plans. Verizon has indicated it likely will move to a usage-based pricing model for LTE, and MetroPCS is going to offer LTE on a prepaid basis.
- see this release
Report: LTE will make up 25% of broadband device sales in 2016
Are LTE chipsets a leading indicator of mainstream adoption?
Report: 4G to fuel infrastructure spending in 2011