Microwave Journal

Asia Pacific LTE Connections to Surpass 120 Million by 2015

January 11, 2011

The number of LTE connections in Asia Pacific will exceed 120 million by 2015, according to the latest data released by Wireless Intelligence. This aggressive growth will be spearheaded by China with the country expected to account for nearly half (57.9 million) of the total number of LTE connections in Asia Pacific during this period.

The data shows that behind China, the three largest LTE markets in Asia Pacific in 2015 will be: Japan with 26.5 million connections; Indonesia with 13.1 million connections; and South Korea with 9.8 million connections. Significant growth is also anticipated in other leading Asia Pacific countries, including Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, as mobile operators and vendors embrace the additional capacity and enhanced throughput for next-generation Mobile Broadband services that LTE offers.

Joss Gillet, Senior Analyst, Wireless Intelligence, stated, “The introduction of high-speed LTE will increase demand for mobile Internet and Mobile Broadband in Asia Pacific. Among many possible adoption scenarios, the release of digital dividend spectrum will play an important role in connecting consumers to these new networks.”

China’s major operators, including China Mobile and China Unicom, are backing LTE. Following its recent test network deployment at Shanghai World Expo, China Mobile will begin the construction of TD LTE pilot networks to test the technology in major Chinese cities in 2011. China Unicom is due to conclude LTE trials in 2011 and China Telecom is also likely to launch LTE in the future. The supporting ecosystem for TD LTE technology continues to build globally, driving economies of scale for other operators. TD LTE technology is set for deployment in India and is also attracting the attention of WiMAX operators in the US who are contemplating LTE migration in the future.

The countries expected to drive the Asia Pacific LTE market currently have a strong HSPA and HSPA+ installed base from which to migrate. According to the latest statistics from Wireless Intelligence, there are 120 million HSPA connections in the Asia Pacific region. The largest HSPA markets in Asia Pacific currently include South Korea with 30 million connections, Japan with 28 million, Australia with 13 million and China with 10 million.