LTE subscriber numbers set to triple in 2013

Deloitte, the professional services firm, predicts that Long Term Evolution (LTE) subscriber numbers are likely to triple, reaching around 200 million globally.

In announcing its predictions for the technology sector in 2013, Deloitte believes that by year-end, subscribers on LTE tariffs will represent 10% of global mobile service revenue.

Jolyon Barker, global lead for Deloitte’s technology, media and telecommunications industry, said: “There will be an upsurge in momentum behind LTE known as 4G in the UK, with the first operator launching late last year and the other major operators due to follow this year. ”

The ability of LTE to deliver more data at faster speeds suggests the service will thrive in 2013. LTE subscriber numbers are likely to triple, reaching around 200 million globally, as customers take advantage of improved performance in existing 3G services, such as email, multimedia messaging and browsing, Deloitte says.

“In response to higher demand, and falling prices of chipsets with LTE, the number of LTE devices will rise fast. The lower cost of pre-pay handsets, including devices retailing for under £60, should also encourage adoption. Revenues from LTE are likely to reach £60 billion by 2014, with more than 200 operators running networks in 75 countries,” Barker said.

The benefits of LTE are widely recognised and include the ability to handle more traffic at faster speeds and with more efficient use of a finite spectrum.

However, LTE comes at a significant price: network upgrades, spectrum purchases, marketing and LTE handset subsidies are all potential constraints on the pace of roll out, Deloitte warns.

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LTE subscriber numbers set to triple in 2013