By the end of 2013, global LTE-related cellular subscriptions surpassed 230.9 million, 3.3 percrent of mobile subs, and will continue to grow at a CAGR of 36.6 perent between 2014 and 2019, exceeding 2 billion. The extensive presence of LTE networks is also stimulating the deployment of VoLTE. By the end of 2014, there are expected to be 59.6 million VoLTE subscriptions in place, and it is expected that nearly 56 percent of LTE-related cellular subscriptions will be using VoLTE services by the end of 2019.
With over 2.6 billion chipsets expected to ship during 2014, Wi-Fi is currently the most ubiquitous wireless connectivity technology for Internet access. As the technology continues to adapt and expand with new protocols such as 802.11ac, 802.11ax, 802.11ad (WiGig), and Wi-Fi Direct, nearly 18 billion more chips will ship cumulatively from 2015 to 2019.
As worldwide Mobile Broadband Traffic heads toward 200 Exabytes per year, operators deploy 4G LTE, LTE-A, plead for spectrum, and try to manage usage through policy and pricing. The physics of mobile broadband radio do not follow Moore’s Law of digital scaling, so leading-edge operators are ready to address the physical realities of small cells. Nevertheless, the question remains; why not deploy carrier grade Wi-Fi with the small cells?
The worldwide Wi-Fi customer premises equipment market including access points, routers and gateways shipments surpassed 139.1 million in 2013. “802.11ac access point adoption is starting to gain market share, representing 8% of the total consumer access point market in 2013,” says Jake Saunders, VP and practice director at ABI Research.
Worldwide LTE-related subscriptions reached 229.7 million in 2013, and will continually grow at a CAGR of 43.6% between 2013 and 2019, to exceed 2 billion. By the end of 2013, LTE-TDD subscribers accounted for 5% of the LTE market, while 94.2% of the LTE market was taken up by LTE-FDD.
The total Bluetooth IC market (including stand alone and combo ICs) is expected to reach $4.3 billion in 2012 — an increase of 21% on 2011. Revenues are forecast to grow at a compound growth rate of over 20% to reach almost $12 billion by 2017.
The total market for standards-based wireless connectivity chipsets is expected to exceed $10 billion in 2012, this includes both standalone and combo chipsets that use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, UWB, and ZigBee. “The market continues to develop with technologies - particularly Bluetooth and Wi-Fi - squaring up for a fight to be the dominant standard,” commented Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director.
The wireless sensor network market, led by ZigBee, grew ten-fold from 2007 to 2010 and exceeded 45 million annual shipments in 2011. “Strong growth is expected for 2012 and beyond as ZigBee pervades the home automation and home entertainment markets, whilst Smart Meters continue to be rolled out across the globe,” commented Peter Cooney, wireless connectivity practice director.
In the first 10 years of its life (up to 2010) cumulative shipments of Bluetooth enabled devices reached 5 billion. Growth has been largely driven by its use in mobile phones and accessories. This market is still growing overall but it will start to plateau out over the next five years. So, will Bluetooth become obsolete before the end of its second decade?