If a new research report from Pyramid Research is correct, the number of Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscriptions worldwide will grow 404% from 2010 to 2014. This pace is faster than any previous mobile standard to date.
The report identifies the main technical and business drivers as well as many of the challenges LTE is likely to encounter. For the first time, the majority of the major wireless players, operators, and vendors are all supporting the same mobile standard. This will help spur the rollout of LTE considerably. To date, 27 mobile operators throughout the world have committed to deploying LTE. Twelve of those operators are expected to launch commercial services sometime next year. The remaining operators plan to roll out LTE during 2011 and 2012.
Daniel Locke, analyst at Pyramid Research and
author of the report says, "By using LTE's more efficient and
cost-effective flat IP architecture, mobile operators can transfer the savings
to end users in the form of lower prices for access, faster data rates, and
higher traffic allowances for a wider adoption of mobile data services."
It took nearly six years for UMTS/HSPA (both GSM standards) to reach 100 million subscriptions. Pyramid predicts LTE will reach this same milestone in just four years. By 2014, Pyramid thinks the number of LTE subscriptions will reach 136 million.
Locke expects the majority of LTE subscriptions to come from developed markets such as the US and Japan during the early stages. However, Locke also notes that LTE is likely to grow more than 30 percent faster in emerging markets than in developed ones. By 2014, LTE subscriptions in those emerging markets will account for 43% of the total number of LTE subscriptions.