The number of long term evolution (LTE) subscriptions worldwide will grow at a CAGR of 404% from 2010 to 2014, a pace faster than any previous mobile standard including 3G, according to Pyramid Research.
For the first time, most of the major players, operators, and vendors alike, are behind the same mobile standard, notes Daniel Locke, analyst at Pyramid Research. "By using LTE's more efficient and cost-effective flat IP architecture, mobile operators can transfer the savings to end users in the form of lower prices for access, faster data rates, and higher traffic allowances for a wider adoption of mobile data services," he said. "To date, 27 mobile operators worldwide have publicly committed to deploying LTE, with 12 of them expected to roll out commercial services in 2010 and the remainder during 2011 and 2012."
Pyramid expects LTE to grow more rapidly than preceding mobile standards in terms of subscriptions. "While it took nearly six years for UMTS/HSPA to reach 100 million subscriptions, Pyramid predicts that LTE will take just over four years to reach the same milestone," explained Locke. "The number of LTE subscriptions worldwide will grow at a CAGR of 404% from 2010 to 2014 and reach 136 million by year-end 2014."
"The majority of LTE subscriptions in the early stage will come in developed markets, where most of the first LTE deployments will occur, with the US and Japan leading," Locke said. "However, LTE will grow 30% faster in emerging markets than developed ones; subscriptions in emerging markets will account for 43% of the LTE total in 2014, up from 5% in 2010."
Fueled by vendor support of TDD-mode, growth in emerging markets will be driven largely by China with 36.1 million subscriptions in 2014, according to Pyramid.