India to account for 5 percent of LTE 4G connections by 2018: Analysys Mason

Analysys Mason on Monday said India will account for 5 percent of LTE 4G connections worldwide by 2018.

But the Analysys Mason report does not say the total number of LTE users in the next five years.

Bharti Airtel is the dominant 4G service provider in India. Reliance Jio Infocomm, which has nationwide 4G license, is yet to launch 4G on TD-LTE technology. The other 4G service providers – Maxis-owned Aircel and Tikona are going slow with their 4G launch.

“We expect a more-balanced global LTE market to emerge by 2018, in which markets such as Brazil, India and Russia will each account for 5 percent of LTE connections worldwide,” said Analysys Mason.

Targeting India, a TD-LTE market, Korean consumer electronics major LG on Monday launched G2 smartphone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. But LG is not focusing on 4G users to boost its sales because Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm are yet to offer voice services using 4G network.

LG G2 smartphone launched with TD-LTE support

According to the report, telecom operators in all markets are in the process of implementing LTE, but the emergence of the APAC and LATAM regions is set to challenge European and North American operators’ early lead.

Adoption of the Asia–Pacific Telecommunity Band Plan (APT700) in Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Mexico provides operators and users in the LATAM region with access to the worldwide LTE700 ecosystem, which offers a broad choice of equipment and terminals.

Analysys Mason says that the large number of frequencies that LTE supports has generated concern among industry players, but in practice operators often need to support fewer than seven in order to provide a range of services for their users.

India, Malaysia and Vietnam are the leaders in the emerging APAC region for the number of LTE networks planned. Operators in India, Malaysia and Nepal are also planning to launch TD-LTE networks.

“We expect several operators in EMAP to deploy FD-/TD-LTE networks in order to take advantage of their paired and unpaired spectrum. Ten dual-technology LTE networks are already in commercial operation,” Analysys Mason’s report added.

59 LTE network trials were in progress as of 31 July 2013. This figure includes cases where an operator has multiple trials underway, but might not eventually deploy operational networks. However, we can reasonably expect (with more than 80 percent probability) that most of these trials will result in commercial deployment within the next two years.

The largest number of LTE network trials is in Central and Eastern Europe (at 26), emerging APAC (24) and Western Europe (20).

Trials in the first two regions are being driven by adoption of the technology among regional operators, such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Strong support for LTE in APAC and LATAM will start to offset the early influence that European and North American operators (some of which have a 2- or 3-year head start on deploying the technology) have had on the device and network vendors.

[email protected]