Telecom Lead Asia: 4G / LTE traffic will grow at 207 percent in 2013 compared to 99 percent for 3G traffic.
ABI Research says total mobile data traffic reached 13,412 petabytes in 2012, an increase of 69 percent year-on-year.
3G data usage occupied 46 percent of the total with an increase of 130 percent year-on-year.
Verizon Wireless, for example, has reported that 50 percent of its data usage is on 4G LTE.
Meanwhile, Nokia Siemens on Monday said mobile broadband market will be relatively flat in 2013, compared to 2012.
Last week, Infonetics Research said that the LTE market will almost double in 2013, passing the $10-billion mark for the first time. Operators are in the midst of a second wave of LTE deployments, and LTE-Advanced is gearing for true 4G prime time, with NTT Docomo, SK Telecom, and likely Russia’s Yota all planning launches this year.
ABI Research’s research associate Marina Lu says mobile data usage; smartphone apps; their downloads, and the traffic usage they generate are contributing to mobile data traffic.
Smartphone app downloads were 36.2 billion for 2012, up 88 percent compared to 2011.
Asia-Pacific has overtaken North America (25 percent), with 39 percent of total smartphone app downloads. IP/web browsing constitutes 51 percent of total mobile data traffic in 2012.
By 2018, large mobile device screens and 4G data-speeds will stimulate mobile video streaming/downloads to account for 56 percent of total traffic.
According to GSA, 145 commercial LTE networks have been launched in 66 countries as of January 2013.
While Smartphone apps promote the adoption of mobile data tariffs, Over-The-Top Instant Messaging and VoIP services are threatening the operators’ messaging and voice revenue models.
ABI Research says ATT and Orange have invested in enterprise apps, setting up their own in-house service teams. Orange is offering Health Trusts mobile-centric ID authentication that allows them to offer confidential and secure mobile medical services that can enhance aftercare support and increase efficiency.