Asia-Pacific LTE 4G subscriptions may overtake North America by 2014

Telecom Lead India: Asia-Pacific LTE subscriptions are
expected to overtake North America by 2014, primarily driven by adoption in
China, India, Japan, and South Korea.

Currently, the North American region accounts for 60
percent of total LTE subscriptions, followed by the Asia-Pacific region at 37

Global LTE subscriptions are likely to exceed 40 million
in 2012 against over nine million subscriptions in 2011, according to ABI

The main drivers for the substantial growth include the
wide range of expected LTE smartphone launches in 2012 from major OEMs such as
Nokia, Samsung, and Apple, as well as the surge in data consumption.

South Korea and Japan are witnessing amazing LTE
subscription growth due to the availability of high-quality content, enabling
the countries to be the next largest LTE markets after the US. Having LTE data
plans priced on par with 3G data plans were a major factor that accelerated the
migration over to LTE,” said ABI Research associate Ying Kang Tan.

The Asia-Pacific will also be the main growth engine for
TD-LTE. Global TD-LTE subscription numbers will grow from one million
subscriptions at the end of 2012 to 139 million subscriptions by 2017. China,
India, and Japan are collectively forecasted to account for 92 million TD-LTE

However, spectrum fragmentation still remains the main
obstacle preventing LTE subscribership in the Asia-Pacific region to go full
throttle. With LTE deployed in more than five spectrum bands, it creates
additional costs for handset OEMs to develop an LTE smartphone for every band.

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