While LTE is destined to become the dominant wireless airlink, several formidable challenges will make its widespread adoption slower than many expect. For starters, spectrum has to be cleared, licensed and either allocated or sold off before LTE takes hold. As every country has its own telecommunications regulations, these factors will take varying periods of time to be resolved. However, despite this difficult path, In-Stat forecasts that the number of LTE subscribers will approach 115 million by 2014.
“US operator LTE CAPEX spending will drive wireless leadership from Asia and Europe to North America,” says Chris Kissel, Industry Analyst for In-Stat. “From 2009 to 2014, more than one quarter of global LTE CAPEX spending will occur in the US. As a result, the US will have more LTE subscribers than the entire Asia/Pacific region by the end of 2014, even though it will have less than half the POPs.”
- Although the vast majority of LTE subscribers will be FDD-LTE, TD-LTE will have a CAGR through 2014 of almost twice that of FDD-LTE.
- Working through technology partners, Huawei and Ericsson, Vodafone purchased 1,500 LTE base stations in Germany in 2010.
- LTE networks will have better than half of all last mile backhaul capacity in North America by 2014.
- Despite the potential for LTE services in China and India, Japan is very likely to have the most LTE subscribers in Asia/Pacific by the end of 2014.
Recent In-Stat research found the following: