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BuddeComm Intelligence Report - Spotlight on LTE and VoLTE - Trends and Stats


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Long-Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G represents an important growth opportunity for the mobile industry, and operators around the world are investing heavily in rolling out the technology. In fact, LTE network deployment may turn out to be one of fastest technology migrations ever seen. In LTE's favour is the fact that it allows operators a smooth migration from both legacy 3GPP and non-3GPP systems. Given the predicted rapid growth in mobile broadband services, it is essential that countries adopt internationally harmonised spectrum standards for LTE.

With competitively priced services, innovative smartphones, and an increasing range of apps, mobile broadband traffic will continue to escalate. While the capacity of the mobile network is greatly improved by LTE as well as by increasing spectrum allocation, the physics of mobile technology is such that it will be impossible to handle all the traffic of these mobile devices over the mobile network, and an increasing portion will have to be offloaded onto fixed networks. Thus, developments in LTE will stimulate the need for fibre broadband.

LTE systems were designed primarily for data communications and do not have the circuit switched capability of previous mobile generations therefore, on their own, LTE networks do not allow for voice or SMS. In order to offer these services, VoLTE solution need to be added to the LTE network.

With the improved coverage and penetration of LTE as well as the massive adoption of smartphones, VoLTE has become a priority throughout the world for operators that wish to bring HD voice service to their LTE customers. Nevertheless, while VoLTE services certainly offer opportunities, Over-The-Top (OTT) mobile VoIP services will attract the largest revenue market shares, at least in the short and medium term.

This BuddeComm Intelligence report examines the development of the global LTE market as well as the emerging VoLTE market including brief unique insights into developments from selected countries from around the world, including: South Korea, USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania, Denmark, Japan, Germany, Canada, China, India, Russia, Spain, Tanzania, Colombia, Australia, and South Africa.

Key developments:

The Asia Pacific region (APAC) overtook North America in 2014 to become the region with the largest number of LTE subscriptions.

The smartphone is the largest and fastest-growing LTE device category, followed by routers and tablets.

WiFi offload will be higher on 4G networks than on lower-speed networks.

VoLTE has been launched in South Korea, the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, Romania, Denmark, Japan, Germany, and Canada

Companies mentioned in this report:

SK Telecom, LG Uplus, KT Corporation (South Korea); MetroPCS, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Wireless (USA); CSL; Hutchison 3 HK (Hong Kong); SingTel, StarHub, Mobile One (Singapore); Vodafone Romania; TDC, Telenor (Denmark); NTT DoCoMo, KDDI, Softbank Mobile (Japan); O2, Vodafone Germany, Telekom Deutschland (Germany); Rogers Wireless, Telus (Canada); China Mobile; Tata Communications (India); Yota Networks (Russia); Telefónica (Spain); Smile Communications (Tanzania); Avantel (Colombia); Telstra; Vodafone Hutchison (Australia); Skype, KakaoTalk, Line, WeChat, Viber.


1. Synopsis
2. Global LTE overview
2.1 Will LTE steal the broadband revolution?
2.2 Global LTE subscriptions and deployments
2.3 Regional LTE subscriptions
2.4 LTE-equipped devices
3. Global VoLTE overview
3.1 Mobile VoIP more popular than VoLTE
3.2 iPhone 6 VoLTE will disrupt the mobile industry
4. First leading markets: USA and South Korea
4.1 VoLTE in South Korea
4.2 VoLTE in the USA
5. Further country case studies
5.1 VoLTE in Hong Kong
5.2 VoLTE in Singapore
5.3 VoLTE in Romania
5.4 VoLTE in Denmark
5.5 VoLTE in Japan
5.6 VoLTE in Germany
5.7 VoLTE in Canada
5.8 VoLTE in China
5.9 VoLTE in India
5.10 VoLTE in Russia
5.11 VoLTE in Spain
5.12 VoLTE in Tanzania
5.13 VoLTE in Colombia
5.14 VoLTE in Australia
5.15 VoLTE in South Africa
6. Related reports
Table 1 Global LTE subscribers and annual change 2011 - 2020
Table 2 Global LTE network growth 2010 - 2015
Table 3 Regional market share of global LTE subscriptions 2012 - 2014
Table 4 LTE as percentage of all mobile connections 2014; 2019
Table 5 LTE equipped devices by category 2014; 2019
Chart 1 LTE subscriber share by region 2014
Exhibit 1 LTE definition
Exhibit 2 VoLTE launches April 2015
Exhibit 3 VoLTE: data first, voice second

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