LTE to Represent More Than 1 in 5 Active Mobile Connections by 2019

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A new report forecasts a rapid uptake of 4G LTE mobile technology in the next five years, with active connections crossing the 1 billion mark in 2017 and reaching 1.8 billion by 2019.

According to Juniper Research, this will represent 22% of the global active mobile SIM connections by this time.

The report finds that, with the rate of LTE network commitments and roll-outs at an all-time high, network and device vendors have significantly improved their position to offer products and solutions to network operators. The GSA confirmed that 168 manufacturers have announced 1,889 LTE-enabled user devices, including operator and frequency variants, along with 300 commercial network launches.

TD-LTE to Drive Rapid Expansion Plans

The report, found that TD-LTE (Time Division LTE - using unpaired spectrum) will indeed play a major role in global deployment. Driven by China, Japan and India, TD-LTE will see an increased network roll-out from other parts of the world.

"TD-LTE will play a significant role, especially in the emerging markets, pushed by China Mobile's need to support TD-LTE and accelerate its commercial deployment in China. There are 36 commercial TD-LTE networks and we expect active TD-LTE connections to demonstrate a higher annual growth rate when compared to FD-LTE (Frequency Division) over the next five years", noted report author Nitin Bhas.

Additionally, the three leading Chinese operators, including China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have announced a joint infrastructure company to share network resources.

Other Key Findings Include:

  • Far East & China will account for the majority of the 4G LTE service revenues by 2019.
  • Nearly 1 in 3 smartphones shipped this year will be LTE enabled with manufacturers expected to ship more 4G enabled devices relative to 2G/3G devices.

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