LTE users surpass Wimax in SK, Japan, US

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
LTE subscribers in the key early adopter markets of South Korea, Japan and the US now outnumber Wimax customers in the nations, new research shows.
 
ABI Research estimates that in South Korea, LTE users surpassed Wimax subs in the fourth quarter of last year, while for Japan this took until 2Q12.
 
“Japan, South Korea, and the United States used to have strong mobile Wimax proponents, so while the momentum and future of Wimax and LTE are clear, it is somewhat surprising to see how long the subscriber crossover has actually taken,” ABI research director Phil Solis said.
 
He predicted that even the subgroup of LTE subscribers on TD-LTE networks will outnumber Wimax customers by mid-2014, “at which point Wimax subscribers will begin their permanent, slow decline.”
 
Although subscriber growth for the China Mobile developed TD-LTE standard is currently slow, this will greatly accelerate from end-2013 as more operators – most notably China Mobile itself - start deploying TD-LTE networks.
 
LTE handsets accounted for 77% of the LTE device market in 2011, and this is expected to reach 80% by 2016.
 
But at the same time, factors that have been impeding the take-up of non-handset LTE devices are expected to dissolve over the next few years.
 
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