LTE Subscribers to Exceed 100 Million Globally in 2013
LTE subscribers are projected to surpass the 100-million mark this year and will reach 198.1 million in 2013, up 115% from 92.3 million last year, according to an IHS iSuppli Wireless Communications Special Report. By 2016, LTE will have more than 1.0 billion users, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of 139 percent.
With just 612,000 users in 2010, LTE subscriber numbers grew by a factor of 22 to 13.2 million subscribers in 2011, and then jumped another 599 percent in 2012 to nearly 100 million subscribers.
Globally, wireless network operators have been continually building the infrastructure for LTE technology. While the majority of early operator activity was concentrated in Europe and Asia, North America propelled new subscriber activity in 2011 and 2012. However interoperability across multiple carriers and spectrum holdings is far from consistent. LTE so far has registered more than 40 different frequency spectrums, resulting in a complex landscape for equipment and component suppliers.
According to report, the bulk of growth during the last two years also came from smartphone upgrades, especially as 4G LTE technology hit top-of-mind for data-savvy consumers.