Just like we had 3.5G (HSPA) after 3G, we’ll have 4.5G called LTE-Advanced after 4G (LTE). According to ABI Research, the LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) subscriptions will take an important role in the mobile subscriber market, growing at a CAGR of 295% between 2013 and 2018 to reach 500 million while representing 34% of the overall 1.47 billion LTE-related subscriptions. Meanwhile, total LTE subscriptions for Q1 2013 increased by 37.5% quarter-on-quarter, reaching 108 million.
As expected, North America will be the most aggressive LTE-A market, followed by Asia-Pacific and Western Europe. ABI Research predicts that first LTE-A services will launch by the end of 2013 with mobile subscriptions approaching 220 million by 2018 and contributing 44% of the global LTE-A market.
As for the other parts of the world, there will be 159 million LTE-A subscriptions in Asia-Pacific by 2018, while in Western Europe – the figure should reach 55 million.
LTE-A allows operators to build greater transmission capacity, relieving stress on legacy spectrum assets, all while providing greater download and upload speeds to the end users.