As wireless networks continue along their evolutionary path, so too do the devices that connect to them. In the 4G LTE space, netbooks and tablet computers will comprise 20 percent of the usage population by 2015, according to a report by Juniper Research.
In the report, 4G LTE Hardware Opportunities,” the faster data rates and reduced latency of 4G LTE make it a network well-suited to new and upgraded devices such as netbooks, tablets, digital cameras and gaming systems, Juniper notes, surpassing the number of laptops using the network. The firm predicts LTE netbooks and tablets will outstrip LTE laptop shipments, especially in the consumer market.
Junipers view is that mobile operators will be keen to embed a wide variety of devices with broadband wireless connectivity, because they see this as a route to stave off ARPU (average revenue per user) declines: Our forecasts show that there will be roughly as many LTE netbooks and tablets combined as laptops by 2015.”
Video streaming and gaming in particular have the greatest potential to take advantage of 4G LTE due to the networks higher speeds and reduced latency, Juniper notes.
However, a faster network does not necessarily mean a better user experience. Juniper points out that issues including availability and customer support for connected devices as well as demand for new business models that will replace existing data plans must be addressed and overcome before the industry can truly take advantage of the next-generation network.