4G to have dramatic effect on ICT market, experts predict

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The emergence of 4G technology in the mobile phone market will dramatically increase take up of ultra mobile devices and give users a superior experience, but will raise copyright issues, finds independent market analyst Business Insights.

In a new report, Business Insights predicts that 4G technologies LTE and WiMax will have a significant impact on the current landscape, encouraging increased adoption of ultra mobile devices. It states that shipments of smartphones will increase nearly threefold between 2009 and 2013, from 185m to 451m, while shipments of netbooks alone will increase fourfold in 2009-2013. Shipments of e-readers and tablets will also experience a monumental boom with nearly a tenfold increase for e-readers.

The report concludes that the users that will benefit most from the shift to 4G technology and the improved network speed, efficiency and capacity that it brings, will be those that use their mobile devices for gaming, streaming, video and music, social networking and specialised applications.

And it states that by 2013 the number of users accessing social networking sites via mobile devices will reach 600m worldwide, accounting for 43 per cent of global mobile web users. In contrast, other databased services such as MMS will not gain significantly from being delivered through a 4G mobile.

The report also predicts that copyright issues could be raised from 4G mobile technology. According to the report, this is due to 4G’s potential to further strengthen the high growth trend in video streaming, gaming, music download and P2P file sharing, giving users easier access to restricted material.

Richard Absalum, Business Insights analyst, said: “As more and more 4G networks are deployed, ICT companies and consumers will start to feel the effects of the new technology.

“The improved network speed, efficiency and capacity provided by 4G, together with the increasing capabilities of converged mobile devices, will lead to increased rich media content and applications.

“However, while the many benefits of 4G are being widely touted, in 2010, 80 per cent of mobile connections are still generated on 2G networks and 3G has not been universally deployed yet.”