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July 17, 2014

Study: 4G LTE Connections to Top One Billion by 2017

A recent study completed by Juniper Research predicts that the number of 4G LTE connections will grow to larger than one billion by 2017.

In addition, the "TD-LTE to Drive Rapid Expansion Plans, 4G LTE: Subscribers, Smartphones, Base Stations & Service Revenue 2014-2019" study suggests, the number of active 4G LTE connections will continue to grow past that date until at least 2019, where it could reach as high as 1.8 billion. According to analysis of the issue at Mobile Today, the 1.8 billion connections in 2019 will account for 22 percent of the global mobile SIM connections that year.

As it currently stands, Mobile Today says, "168 manufacturers have announced 1,889 LTE-enabled user devices, including operator and frequency variants, along with 300 commercial network launches." That information comes from the Global Mobile Suppliers Organization.

In line with what TMC has reported this month, results of the study expect Time Division LTE to expand in China, Japan, and India and that mobile use will grow in those countries significantly before spreading to other countries.

In China, telecommuncations providers China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom, have been battling for usage of the TD-LTE spectrum and for its counterpart, FDD-LTE. All three telecoms accepted licenses at the end of last year that granted them use of TD-LTE, and China Mobile has had an advantage over its smaller competitors because it had also gained an FDD-based 4G license.

China Mobile has used this advantage to grow its user base, but the other national telecoms are not backing down. To that end, reports indicated that both China Telecom and China Unicom accepted FDD-based licenses this June. They were reportedly limited to using FDD technology in 16 cities around the country.

China Telecom is said to be currently working with Alcatel-Lucent in developing 4G deployments, and China Mobile has long since partnered with local suppliers Huawei and ZTE and global enterprises Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Nokia.

Edited by Adam Brandt

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