Rapid LTE adoption will only reach 6% globally
The adoption of LTE networks will be rapid over the five years, driven largely by enterprise subscribers, but will only 6% of global subscribers by 2016, according to new research from the analyst firm Juniper Research.
Subscriber numbers will reach 428m in the next five years, with rapid uptake beginning next year, it said. Many operators are already making preparations to hit their roll out targets.
Enterprise will be the first big adopter of the new, faster mobile network technology, the report found, with the business market dominating uptake for the initial years. However, from 2013, consumer subscribers will begin to sign up in volume, becoming the dominant user group in 2015.
‘With LTE being offered as a premium level service initially, enterprise subscribers will be attracted by the improved data speeds and the service guarantees that will be offered,” said Report author Nitin Bhas. “The emerging factor that will drive consumer take-up later in the forecast and beyond is the embedding of LTE technology in consumer devices.”
The report found that LTE smartphones and tablets will dominate the LTE connected end user device market, accounting for 50% of the total LTE subscribers by 2016. LTE smartphones are expected to achieve early market traction in the enterprise market, with high-end data users migrating to the faster technology.
Juniper also notes that enterprise users are leading the early stages of LTE-enabled tablet adoption; however, consumer users are expected to exceed enterprise users by volume from 2013.
"North America, along with Western Europe, will be the most advanced region globally for LTE mobile broadband users," added Bhas. "The slowest growth rate is expected in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, followed by the Indian subcontinent."