Global Mobile Broadband - LTE, VoLTE, LTE-A, LTE-B and 5G - Trends and Statistics
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.
The 5G technology is now well and truly under development. While there are no firm standards in place, the industry is working hard at making that happen. In the meantime, the early movers are testing their own versions of the 5G technology and this is giving us information about what we can expect what the technology will be able to deliver.
Key developments will include M2M and IoT infrastructure, facilitating the development of smart homes, buildings and cities. Many of these applications will be opened up partly through the use of 4G LTE A(dvanced) a halfway house on the way to full 5G.
Commercial 5G is not expected to become available in any significant way until around 2020, with full deployment expected towards the end of that decade.
This BuddeComm Intelligence report provides unique and valuable information on 5G, its future role and potential uses, technical features, industry developments and challenges.
An LTE-B Alliance was formed in April 20016.
In early September 2015 Nokia announced its Network-as-a-Service 5G architecture.
In late August 2015 Ericsson unveiled the first 5G prototype phone.
The Asia Pacific region (APAC) overtook North America in 2014 to become the region with the largest number of LTE subscriptions and in 2016 it has over 50% market share.
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.
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