Active 4G LTE connections to exceed the one billion mark by the year, according to a new study by Juniper Research. The report forecasts a rapid uptake of 4G LTE mobile technology in the next five years, with active connections reaching 1.8 billion by 2019 - representing 22% of the global active mobile SIM connections by this time.
With the rate of LTE network commitments and roll-outs at an all-time high, network and device vendors have significantly improved their position to offer products and solutions to network operators.
To date, 168 manufacturers have announced 1,889 LTE-enabled user devices, including operator and frequency variants, along with 300 commercial network launches, according to the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).
The new Juniper report, 'TD-LTE to Drive Rapid Expansion Plans, 4G LTE: Subscribers, Smartphones, Base Stations & Service Revenue 2014-2019', found that Time Division LTE (TD-LTE) - using unpaired spectrum - will play a major role in global deployment of LTE. Driven by China, Japan and India, TD-LTE will see an increased network roll-out from other countries around the world. Three Chinese operators - China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom - have announced a joint infrastructure company to share network resources.
Author Nitin Bhas said that TD-LTE will play a 'significant role', especially in the emerging markets, pushed by China Mobile’s need to support TD-LTE and accelerate its commercial deployment in its home market.
The report's author added, 'There are 36 commercial TD-LTE networks and we expect active TD-LTE connections to demonstrate a higher annual growth rate when compared to FD-LTE (Frequency Division) over the next five years.'