Global Mobile Broadband - Insights and Statistics for a Game Changing Industry
Mobile broadband – the key growth area for global telecoms industry
The ongoing improvements in infrastructure have driven the continuing uptake of mobility and broadband around the world and in 2014 mobile broadband is the fastest growth area overall for the global telecoms sector. But increased usage has caused data traffic jams on the 3G networks because this infrastructure cannot cope with the rapid increase in traffic over the last couple of years.
The release of 4G/LTE mobile broadband will certainly ease the issue in the short term and anticipation of this growing demand has resulted in LTE becoming the fastest developing mobile technology to date.
The global mobile industry has been busy developing amazing applications and services for smart phones and devices over the past few years - but it is important to remember that if the infrastructure cannot handle the capacity then this market will quickly stall. The developed markets are already eating up new spectrum with a voracious appetite and it is expected that the current new spectrum allocations for LTE will start to run out in 3-5 years’ time - and at this stage there is no clear technical solution ahead for the industry. Many see heterogeneous infrastructure as the way forward– in other words, a conglomeration of technology all tied together – and while this will work; the overall quality and reliability of the network is bound to suffer.
The interest in the VoLTE market is expected to accelerate as LTE networks become more mass market. Cellular operators in the US have gone to great lengths to expand LTE availability across the country. As a result, the US will become a key market for VoLTE services in coming years, with operators and consumers alike benefiting from the scale of LTE and LTE-A network footprints. In South Korea in 2013, KT reported that it was also making significant progress in expanding the coverage of its LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network.
The increasingly important WiFi market is slowly but surely seeing more sophisticated WiFi products emerge. This level of sophistication is occurring in enterprise and carrier markets and also finding its way into the hotspot market - where it will become the critical hub for the rapidly increasing home network market. It must be recognised that WiFi plays a key role in the telecoms environment of the future. The use of WiFi hotspots continues to rise due to increasing popularity from smart phone and mobile device users.
Mobile data traffic is experiencing tremendous growth - with over an 80% increase in global mobile data traffic in 2013 compared to 2012. Led mainly by an increase in mobile video traffic; it is really no surprise that the industry is now beginning to float the idea of 5G infrastructure in order to cope with the increasing demand. While it is not yet clear what form 5G technology will take, there are plenty of industry players expressing an interest in developing this concept further, including companies like Samsung and Ntt DoCoMo.
BuddeComm’s new report, Global Mobile Broadband – Insights and Statistics for a Game Changing Industry, provides important insights into the worldwide mobile broadband industry and includes trends, analyses, statistics and case studies. It provides insights into the fast growing LTE network deployment and the subsequent emerging VoLTE sector. It explores the popular OTT mobile VoIP industry and the growing importance of WiFi to the telecoms sector. Supported by insights and statistics on mobile broadband apps this report also provides valuable information at a regional level including North America, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific, written by BuddeComm’s Senior Analysts. Please note: Mobile communications is covered in detail in a separate annual publication.
Examples of key insights:
LTE development continues apace and there is no doubt that LTE is going to take a prime position in broadband developments. With competitively priced services, innovative smartphones and an increasing range of very innovative apps this market is set to continue to boom. Japan, South Korea, USA and Scandinavia are just some of the leading markets in terms of LTE.
Voice-Over LTE (VoLTE) is an emerging service on LTE networks, particularly in the USA and South Korea. Mobile VoIP is becoming a key area of focus, particularly in Europe and North America.
Smartphone users want faster, more ubiquitous and reliable connectivity, while operators are looking to squeeze every last bit of capacity out of their cellular networks. As a result, smarter WiFi is needed so that it can take on a more strategic role as part of the overall mobile network infrastructure. Ultimately users simply want the fastest and most reliable wireless connection they can get.
The boom in Wi-Fi is also resulting in a growing WiFi carrier equipment market.
In 2014 there are over 2 million apps available from Google Play and Apple app store combined.
The take up of 4G/LTE services has been surging in the leading markets of Asia.
Mobile operators in the Middle East are improving the regions connectivity, upgrading existing networks with HSPA/LTE technology and utilising well developed product distribution channels, customer base and brand to successfully sell mobile broadband access services, content and applications.
The strong growth in mobile broadband data in Europe has been driven by flat rate pricing and the wider availability of HSPA and LTE technologies for consumers.
The availability of additional spectrum in the US in recent years has been a necessary catalyst for operators to expand their LTE network footprints.
All Canadian MNOs have developed their LTE strategies in recent years.
Africa benefits from the presence of a number of mobile players with regional reach.
As with Africa, the South American market has a few operators which provide services across the region. The dominant players include América Móvil (Claro) and Telefónica (Movistar).
The Australian industry predicts dramatic progress and innovation will occur in key technologies relating to user interfaces, screens and digital cameras. And as technological developments are made, this will continue to fuel growth in consumer demand for very high-speed mobile broadband services.
In the Pacific Island countries; WiFi hotspots have been popular among many tourist destinations and are often used as a way of generating income in cafes from tourists.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year