With major operators like AT&T Inc. and Vodafone plc having announced plans to use LTE as their 4G mobile broadband deployments, the potential for data-centric revenue is snowballing, according to Juniper Research. Juniper says it will exceed $70 billion globally by 2014—but only if carriers don’t get greedy in subscription fees.
The main reason for the bold pronouncement is the expectation that LTE will enable a next generation of connected devices, like portable games consoles and digital cameras. Essentially, LTE will bridge the gap between the mobile and consumer electronics worlds.
However, the report also determined that there are several open issues that need addressing before the market takes off. Report author Howard Wilcox cautioned: “LTE will offer broadband speeds of up to 100mbps or more: This is at least five times faster than the best mobile broadband now, and around 20 times faster than most people experience via fixed DSL. The challenge for mobile operators is how to make profits yet keep prices attractive enough for subscribers to sign up. It’s all about the business case.”
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 percent of the market by 2014.
• Mobile commerce and payments, the mobile Web and the need to return to economic growth will all drive mobile broadband.
• Although the recession could have short term impact, LTE’s longer-term prospects should not be adversely affected.