4G to benefit just one in 20 mobile subscribers

LTE 4G mobile networks will provide businesses and consumers with dramatically increased speeds and capacity to combat the effects of the mobile data traffic explosion such as network crashes. However, only one in every 20 subscribers will benefit, a new study from Juniper Research concluded.

With the rate of LTE network commitments at an all time high, the 4G LTE report forecasts that the number of LTE mobile broadband subscribers will exceed 300 million globally by 2015. Most of this growth will occur from 2012 but mobile operators are preparing now as rapidly increasing data traffic from mobile apps and mobile internet usage forces them to react.

Report author Howard Wilcox explained: “Although one in 20 globally is low overall, in fact our research found that usage levels will be significantly higher in other regions such as North America where it will be closer to 1 in 5 as major operators plan rollouts in the next six months.”

Juniper’s extensive primary interview programme pinpointed several hurdles that LTE needs to overcome in order to succeed. For instance, LTE needs to avoid the mistakes of 3G and ensure that suitable devices are available when networks are launched.

Further findings include: LTE’s main markets will be the developed nations of North America, Western Europe, the Far East and China, which together will account for 90% of the market by 2015; The industry is looking for answers regarding new business models that will replace existing data plans.