Yes this week has seen the announcement of the largest LTE deployment globally so far – from Verizon Wireless. 38 cities, covering 110 million people by the end of 2010. I’ll repeat that – by the end of the year – that’s less than 3 months folks. They are also equipping 60 airports. This is what you’d call a serious rollout.
Verizon Wireless are targeting high end premium customers in this way – the airports deployment must be great news for capacity relief.
Especially considering the forecast data growth. I attended a Verizon Wireless presentation a few months back. They are planning on a 6x data growth factor between 2010 and 2016. 3G itself is driving double digit growth quarterly without 4G. The main (but not the only!) target market is therefore clearly the small or even very small proportion of the user base that really drives data growth rates of this magnitude.
So my conclusion is that the announcement is consistent with our view that whilst LTE will benefit around 1 in 5 users in developed markets - top 20% of users or even less. So although you might think our forecast of 300 million subscribers globally by 2015 doesn’t sound a lot, in fact these are the heavy users who account for a disproportionate amount of traffic.
In other LTE news this week, I downloaded the LTE Buzz widget from Alcatel-Lucent. This neat little desktop addition keeps me on top of everything LTE as it happens. Quite a week to choose to have it running for the first time of course!! I can tell you, it’s been a case of never-ending news pop-ups since about the middle of the week! I wonder why….