LTE adoption beating expectations

Dylan Bushell-Embling
07 Jun 2011

Early indications suggest LTE adoption will grow faster than expected, according to ABI Research.

The analyst firm said NTT DoCoMo added 25,000 LTE subscribers in the first quarter after launching late last year.

US giant Verizon Wireless fared even better, adding some 500,000 subscribers during the quarter. ABI Research analyst Fei Feng Seet said these figures point to strong demand.

“We believe LTE adoption will take off more rapidly than expected, with more operators announcing network launches and existing players widening network coverage,” she said.

The company predicts that up to 85 million US users will be subscribing to LTE services by 2016, from an estimated total base of 387 million mobile users.

But in Asia 3G is dominating the scene due largely to rollouts in large developing markets such as India and China, ABI said. The firm estimates that there are now over 100 million 3G subscribers in the former, and nearly 62 million in the latter.

Smartphone adoption is increasing in the region, which will increase the demand for mobile data services and eventually LTE. But ABI says many Asian operators are currently concentrating on providing nationwide 3G coverage at the behest of their users.

Total 3G subscriptions in Asia are on track to pass 1.2 billion by 2016, ABI predicts.

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