Juniper Research forecasts a rapid uptake of LTE mobile broadband technology in the next five years but with a very limited global reach. Subscriber levels will attain 428 million by 2016 but will only reach 6 percent of the global subscriber population. Most of this growth is expected to occur from 2012 onwards, with many mobile operators making preparations now in order to realize their roll out targets.

The new 4G LTE Opportunities report from Juniper Research found that 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, the total number of LTE base station deployments will reach almost 1 million by 2014.

Consumers to Overtake Enterprise by 2015

In the early years LTE will be dominated by the uptake of enterprise subscribers, but during 2013 consumer subscribers will begin to sign up in volume and begin to overtake enterprise subscribers by 2015.

Report author Nitin Bhas added: "With LTE being offered as a premium level service initially, enterprise subscribers will be attracted by the improved data speeds and the service guarantees that will be offered. The emerging factor that will drive consumer take-up later in the forecast and beyond is the embedding of LTE technology in consumer devices."

Tablets and Smartphone to Dominate

The report found that LTE smartphones and tablets will dominate the LTE connected end user device market, accounting for 50 percent of the total LTE subscribers by 2016. LTE smartphones are expected to achieve early market traction in the enterprise market, with high-end data users migrating to the faster technology. Juniper also notes that enterprise users are leading the early stages of LTE-enabled tablet adoption; however, we expect consumer users to exceed enterprise users by volume from 2013.