Menu
LTE subscriptions to surpass 1 billion this year

LTE subscriptions to surpass 1 billion this year

More plans, networks and cheaper smartphones helping propel growth

Alcatel-Lucent and JC Decaux are working together to integrate wireless connectivity with street furniture such as this bus shelter shown at Alcatel Lucent's Bell Labs Future X Days exhibition near Paris on Sept. 30, 2014.

Alcatel-Lucent and JC Decaux are working together to integrate wireless connectivity with street furniture such as this bus shelter shown at Alcatel Lucent's Bell Labs Future X Days exhibition near Paris on Sept. 30, 2014.

The number of LTE subscriptions will pass 1 billion before the end of the year, prompting operators to invest in technologies such as small cells to keep up.

There will be nearly 1.37 billion 4G LTE subscribers around the world by year-end, up from nearly 650 million in 2014, according to market research company ABI Research. LTE's growing popularity is helped by a number of things: mobile operators including the technology in more of their plans, cheaper LTE smartphones and aggressive network expansions in countries like China.

LTE is being rapidly embraced in North America, Japan and South Korea where it'll be included in a majority of subscriptions this year, according to telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson, which last week published a report on its expectations for future mobile growth.

In countries where LTE adoption is high, network operators are looking for new ways to keep their networks from buckling under the growing weight of traffic, especially video, buoyed by the growing popularity of smartphones with big screens.

Operators will rely on small cells to keep data rates up in places where networks are congested. For example, Verizon Wireless is partnering with Ericsson to deploy small cells, with nearly US$500 million allocated, according to ABI. As the name hints, small cells are tiny versions of traditional base stations, and only cover a limited area.

The concept isn't new, having been used to upgrade networks built on previous technologies, but its deployment in LTE networks has been hampered by operators struggling with where to install small cells, how to manage them and how to integrate the equipment with the rest of their networks. Ericsson is far from the only company that's been working to sort out these issues. On Tuesday, Alcatel-Lucent announced an expansion of its Site Certification Program, which helps operators find places where small cells can be installed.

The popularity of LTE will continue to grow over the next 5 years at an average rate of about 20 percent, exceeding 3.5 billion by 2020, according to ABI Research. Ericsson is a bit more optimistic in its predictions about LTE's future growth, saying that there will be 3.7 billion subscriptions by 2020 in a report published last week.

By 2020, LTE will totally dominate in the U.S. and Western Europe. Globally, 3G networks will with around 3.8 billion subscriptions still be more more popular, Ericsson said. The year 2020 will also be significant for another reason; the first 5G networks are expected to go live in countries such as Japan and South Korea.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunication4galcatel-lucentEricssonABI research

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments