Global 4G data traffic is on pace to reach 224.7 Exabytes by 2020, accounting for 79% of total data traffic, according to ABI Research.
This year 4G data traffic began to dominate total traffic consumption, the research firm said. Additionally, 4G consumption is set to continue its rapid expansion through to at least 2020.
The gap between 4G and 3G monthly ARPU is also expected to widen over the same period. While competition is set to drive down mobile ARPU across the board, 4G ARPU will hold up better due to higher data consumption per user compared to 3G.
China Mobile is the world's top 4G operator by gross profit, followed by US operators Verizon and AT&T, according to ABI Research VP and practice director Jake Saunders.
“During its first full year of LTE commercialization, China Mobile has successfully transformed from a voice-centric to a more data-centric operation. Leveraging an accelerated 4G development plan to monetize data traffic services has been a huge boost,” he said.
ABI research separately revealed that the market for LTE-capable antennas is due to reach nearly $4 billion this year due to aggressive rollouts.
LTE-capable antennas are now driving overall growth in the market, the research firm said. Multi-band antennas are the hot segment due to the lack of formal spectrum standardization for 4G compared to 3G.