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LTE & LTE-A Subscriptions to Exceed 430 Million by Year-end 2014

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The growing appetite for on the go, real time information and mobile entertainment services will see the total number of subscribers for 4G LTE and 4.5G LTE Advanced grow to nearly 411 million and 22 million respectively by year end 2014.

ABI Research's 4G network deployment tracker anticipates that 45 networks will have commercially launched LTE-Advanced by 4Q 2014. Over 337 of the world's mobile networks had already deployed 4G LTE by the end of 2Q 2014. The evolution of LTE to LTE-A has seen the technology gain traction in regions like North America and Asia-Pacific, with Western Europe trailing slightly behind in subscriber numbers.

While there is some upgrade and replacement of LTE mobile devices from the first wave of LTE adopters, a significant percentage of this year's mobile device shipments will still be to new LTE subscribers. ABI Research estimates that nearly 482 million LTE handsets will be shipped in 2014, up by nearly 150 million units from the previous year and expects that number will grow to 1.34 billion by the end of 2019.

Global LTE network coverage is expected to cover more than 30% of the world's population by the end of 2014. In tandem with mobile operators continuing to expand LTE coverage across all regions, operators such as SK Telecom and LG U+ in South Korea are increasing the level of competition.

In a bid to lock down the most lucrative LTE customers, both operators will be launching unlimited LTE data plans in 4Q 2014 featuring speeds of 300 Mbps through a 3-band carrier aggregation. Who said the unlimited data plan is dead?

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Tags: lte-a