July 21, 2014
Despite its status as one of the newest mobile technologies, LTE around the world is experiencing widespread growth. Currently, carriers in every area of the world already boast fully-deployed networks – and more are being launched or planned every month.
As of Q1 earlier this year, experts say that 497 network operators from 150 countries around the world had made firm commitments to deploy LTE networks, facilitating the growth of LTE as a global standard.
Furthermore, due to LTE’s impressive growth (outpacing rollouts of 2G and 3G as the world’s fastest-growing mobile technology), carriers are building out their LTE networks, investing more time and resources. This includes extending coverage within existing networks, supplying lower-cost LTE handsets and supporting greater bandwidth on each LTE connection.*
Regarding LTE in the United States, for example, see Sprint Collaborates with Rural Carriers to Expand LTE and T-Mobile is Next in Line to Expand LTE.
And in case you need a reminder why is LTE such a big deal: cost benefits for better quality networks for consumers, as well as the flexible nature of its networks to grow and support higher bandwidth and greater coverage.*
Experts say this huge growth is largely thanks to the latest highly-integrated components for both basestations and smartphones, tablets, and other devices. These end up slashing the cost of LTE coverage, making LTE more accessible for everyone altogether.
LTE macro basestations now need fewer components, reducing the cost of entry for new operators.
This in turn slashes the price of system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for small basestations while dramatically reducing the cost of LTE coverage in dense, indoor or rural environments.*
Within the past year, the LTE device market doubled, adding 941 new devices for a total of about 1889 total LTE devices.
Having twice the LTE device varieties (with smartphones remaining the largest device type), in addition to a 68 percent growth in LTE device manufacturers, ultimately meaning higher availability for LTE. In fact, many of the latest devices already support the most advanced form of LTE with carrier aggregation*, which allows operators to use multiple bands to support greater bandwidth for subscribers.
In a world where mobile data usage is growing rapidly – in fact, earlier this year, data revenue exceeded voice revenue in the U.S. – consumers are beginning to expect more from their devices. That’s why the shift to smartphones with quad-core processors and advanced graphics capabilities* is creating a subscriber base that expects low-latency, unlimited, and ubiquitous mobility.
And because LTE is the only current mobile technology that allows carriers to meet these expectations for most subscribers, experts predict that 5G innovations will complement, not replace, LTE in the future.*
There’s no doubt that the growth of LTE is enabling a complete revolution in mobility.
With LTE’s growth in ubiquitous connectivity and high-speed data access, mobile carriers will finally be able to catch up with increasing data consumption and grow revenue through new service delivery.
As such, LTE remains a valuable way for carriers to deliver integrated LTE solutions, working in conjunction with telecom equipment manufacturers, and device manufacturers.
* Stanley, Simon. Integrated Components Accelerate LTE, Heavy Reading. 14 July 2014. Light Reading.