It took just 3 years for LTE to take off, big time. Last year ended with estimated 92.3 million LTE connections and this year is poised to add more than 100 million new subscribers for a total of 198.1 million!
According to IHS iSuppli, that’s just a start as LTE is set to claim more than 1 billion users, making for a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 139%.
Globally, mobile operators have been continually building the infrastructure for LTE technology, driven by increased appetite among consumers for faster content delivery and better apps. And while the majority of early operator activity was concentrated in Europe and Asia, North America propelled new subscriber activity in 2011 and 2012.
However, there is a problem with interoperability across multiple carriers and spectrum holdings. While the precursor 3G technology was deployed over a handful of spectrum bands globally, LTE so far has registered more than 40 different frequency spectrums, resulting in a complex landscape for equipment and component suppliers.
Then again, the advantages to be derived from LTE are nonetheless substantial. Compared to previous cellular standards, LTE with its low-latency performance allows the handling of a wider range of applications, which in turn create fresh market opportunities for component supplier and device manufacturers.
In particular, LTE is a force multiplier for innovation among smartphones, prompting OEM’s to accelerate the pace of innovation for applications processors, touchscreens, camera technology and ever-more sophisticated mobile operating systems and software…