Mobile broadband services demand is literally exploding. You need faster and faster data plan to keep up with your daily YouTube video intake, Facebook photo posting, Twitting, Instagramming, etc. You really need to get yourself a 4G LTE smartphone. Fortunately for you, mobile operators, all around the world, are implementing strategies to make sure fourth generation services are delivered to their customer base.
Have you heard of LTE before? If not, let me explain: LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. It is most commonly known as 4G LTE, a high speed data for smartphone and mobile devices, which was launched for the first time in 2009 in Oslo and Stockholm. Some countries have already 4G networks working on their territories.
|What's cool!||What's in it for you?!|
|5Xs Faster||With a 4G LTE your data travels 5 times faster than on a 3G network.|
|Mbps||The new technology gives you a 100 Mbps download speed, versus 15 Mbps on a 3G system.|
|Upload Speed||50 Mbps is the upload speed, versus 6 Mbps on 3G.|
|Facebook Example||It will take for you 2 minutes to upload 50 images on Facebook (10 MB each), versus 15 minutes with a 3G connection.|
As you probably know, there has been a gargantuan increase in the adoption of smartphones worldwide. Mobile operators are in need to evolve themselves in order to satisfy that demand. They need to be able to offer high speed data services to keep up with demand from consumers, who use data intensive applications more than ever.
You may agree LTE is going to boost demand for many services, such as mobile television, photo apps, YouTube, Skype and other VOIP calls applications; and this will sure increase revenues for mobile operators. However, you may also agree that not all countries are ready to take over the LTE business opportunity, some of them are just not prepared, for they do not have the right infrastructure.
Perhaps you remember the map I published in a previous article about 4G LTE network. Visit “3G Got Old...Get Yourself 4G LTE” to know more. The map shows that not all countries have LTE services at a commercial level. Some of them still need to implement their facilities in order to provide this top-class technology to consumers.
How Big is the Market?
If you want to properly understand how big the 4G LTE opportunity is for operators, you need to grasp how big the smartphone business really is. According to Strategy Analytics’ blog:
- 157.0 million smartphones were globally shipped in Q4 2011, compared to 217.0 million in Q4 2012.
- And 490.5 million smartphones were globally dispatched in 2011 compared to 700.1 million in 2012.
Ergo, you can see how big the smartphone industry is today. This is a great opportunity for operators, a great chance to cash in on this new market. Strategy Analytics released another report regarding 4G LTE a while ago. The report forecasts that:
- 2013 4G LTE global sales will be around 275 million, and that would roughly represents 3 times the amount of 4G LTE smartphones shipped in 2012.
- The most active players will be the U.S., South Korea, Japan, China and the UK.
And the market is getting bigger and bigger. +9to5Mac published a post the other day, written by Elyse Betters, indicating that Sprint (one of the biggest telecommunication companies in the U.S.) is expanding its 4G network to numerous cities in the U.S., such as:
- Fort Wayne.
- Bryan-College Station.
How’s LTE in Europe Doing?
Europe is a little behind regarding the new technology. However, 4G LTE arrived in the UK just at the end of 2012, and one of the few operators providing superfast broadband service is EE (Everything Everywhere). They launched the service in October 2012, and they call it 4GEE.
With 4GEE, the company promises you will be able to:
- Watch TV.
- Play live multiple-player games.
- Stream a movie on the move.
- Use 4GEE if you live in the 18 towns and cities they cover across the UK.
- Choose the right data plan, ranging from 500MB to 8GB per month.
- Boost your business, as you can now do video conferences with ease and/or upload massive files on your favorite cloud.
According to +ZDNet not only London is on the right track when it comes to implementing LTE technology, but Poland too. As stated on this article published on ZDNet website, Poland was the 4th in the world to get LTE technology.
The growth of 4G LTE coverage in Poland is one of the highest in Europe. As I said before other countries in Europe have been extremely slow in implementing LTE networks, but they will definitely catch up. In Poland, the coverage growth expectation by population is about 60% by the end of 2013. This is in fact a great opportunity for Polish mobile operators, which are already playing the race to become leaders in the LTE local industry.
What about you? Do you have access to LTE networks in your country? Do you have a 4G LTE smartphone already? Share your thoughts at Writeca.com. Thank you!
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