Having just finished explaining the confusion around LTE and 4G to one of my colleagues at our publishing dept. and after a long holiday, I thought I could do with some 4G catching up. There were two major launches this week worth mentioning: first one was by AT&T, which deployed commercial networks in St.Louis and Staten Island, NY., taking the carrier’s nationwide deployments to a total of 32 cities. The second one was by Bharti Airtel – the Indian operator deployed one of the world’s first TD-LTE networks and the country’s first, 4G network in Kolkata. Reportedly, Bharti Airtel is now in talks with Qualcomm to acquire the latter’s BWA licence.
The present LTE ecosystem is fast developing and with the rate of LTE network commitments at an all-time high, network vendors have significantly improved their position to offer products and solutions to network operators. Consequently, we have forecasted a rapid uptake of LTE mobile broadband technology in the next five years but with a very limited global reach.
We believe that the subscriber levels will attain 428m by 2016, but will only reach 6% of the global subscriber population. Most of this growth is expected to occur from this year onwards, with many mobile operators making preparations now in order to realise their roll out targets. This is also reflected in GSA’s latest LTE worldwide status report – 301 operators are currently investing in LTE in 95 countries and there are some 57 commercial networks deployed in 32 countries so far.
Our ‘LTE – The Next Generation’ whitepaper is now available to download from here…