By Telecom Lead Team: There will be more than 100 LTE commercial
networks operating in 2012. America will be powering the significant growth.
However, spectrum issues will continue to affect the growth, according to 4G
LTE is commercial on 57 networks in 34 countries with
over 100 total commercial networks expected by the end of 2012. With 22 million
connections forecasted for LTE by year-end 2012, that number will grow to an
estimated 63 million in one year, and expand sevenfold to 156 million at the
end of 2014.
Recently, analyst firm Signals and
Systems Telecom said that LTE device shipments have reached 8 million units
at the end of 2011.
LTE device revenues touch $2.5 billion with 8 million units in
With most vendors going full swing into the LTE, the LTE
devices market is set to grow at a CAGR of over 104 percent over the next five
years reaching 300 million shipments by 2016. 2012 alone will see shipments
increase to 32 million units.
According to 4G Americas, one billion connections for
HSPA and LTE mobile broadband technologies are expected to be achieved by March
2012. In two years that number will double to two billion.
The Americas region is a key contributor to the one
billion milestone with more than 250 million HSPA and LTE subscriptions
forecasted for the region by the end of 2012. That number will more than double
by 2015, and will reach more than 700 million subscriptions by 2016, according
to 4G Americas.
“The ecosystem supporting 3GPP technologies,
including HSPA and LTE, is unparalleled. The only ‘if’ in the current industry
progress relates to the essential resource of spectrum — without it growth and
development will slow,” said Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas.
Without appropriate spectrum allocations, a network
operator will be limited in their ability to deliver optimal spectral
efficiency. U.S. subscribers are among the world’s highest users of mobile data,
and at the same time the U.S. has one of the lowest per subscriber allocations
for spectral resources.
Latin America has issues and concerns similar to the U.S.
regarding spectrum allocation and expeditious auction processes.
The governments in the region are working to bring out
more spectrum in free market-oriented auctions.
Latin America will have 118 million HSPA subscriptions by
the end of 2012 compared to 133 million HSPA and LTE subscriptions in the U.S.
and Canada. This will put all the Americas at a milestone of a quarter of a
billion 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions.
By the end of 2013, HSPA and LTE subscriptions in Latin
America are likely to increase to 181 million and exceed the North America
forecast of 160 million. There are currently 72 commercial HSPA deployments in
31 countries in Latin America and of those networks, 31 have been upgraded to
HSPA+ in 19 countries.
There are 5 commercial LTE networks in Latin America both
in FDD and TDD modes, and estimated that there will be 300,000 connections on
LTE networks in the region at the end of 2012.
Latin America may reach a forecasted 455 million 3GPP
mobile broadband connections by the end of 2016 while North America reaches
more than 251 million, together approaching three quarters of a billion 3GPP
mobile broadband connections.