LTE subscribers will reach 428M by 2016: report

Staff writer

LTE mobile networks will become more pervasive over the next decade, but they will not all launch at once, a new report said.

The Juniper Research report also said there’s no doubt that demand for data is driving the market in general, however, individual carriers all have entirely different market environments to cope with.

The research firm said the number of LTE subscribers will reach 428 million by 2016 with a surge in growth taking place in 2012.

With Bharti Airtel the latest operator to launch LTE in Kolkata, this year promises to be a watershed for LTE. Many wireless operators are now taking stock of the economic and competitive environment in their respective markets; and considering their rollout options.

“It may no longer be a case of “if” an operator will launch an LTE network, but the ‘when’ is a different story,” said Lyn Cantor, president of Tektronix Communications, a provider of service assurance solutions to global operators.

The executive said he believes that the development of the LTE industry in global markets will vary according to the competitive environment in addition to an operator’s ability to deliver data efficiently; and that operators will make their move when there is a firm business case to do so.

According to Cantor, operators now recognize the economic realities of LTE. As a result their mind-set has switched from being a traditional voice and messaging provider to that of a mobile broadband supplier, providing, voice, messaging and data.

They now appreciate the challenge they face in monitoring the volume of traffic flowing across their networks - and the ability to monetize that data as bandwidth increases. This will allow operators to cut their cloth accordingly; distinguishing between heavy users and more mainstream traffic, to expand their businesses to meet and sustain market demand going forward.



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