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July 16, 2014

4G connections ‘will reach 1.8 billion by 2019’

“Operators will have to present customers with a simple, usable, affordable yet innovative LTE.”

By Amy-Jo Crowley

There will be more than one billion mobile connections to the super-fast 4G network by 2017 and 1.8 billion by 2018, according to research.

It is predicted that 4G will account for 22% of the total mobile connections by this time, the research by Juniper Research found.

The growth will be driven by LTE deployments and roll-outs in emerging markets in China, Japan and India, which are expected to account for the majority of 4G connectivity service revenues by 2019.

Nitin Bhas, author of the report, told CBR: "LTE is expected to provide both capacity relief and monetary benefits by improving ARPU (Average Revenue per User) to the operators.

"With developed nations leading the way for LTE deployments and roll-out, there is a genuine opportunity for many operators in developing countries to bypass 3G altogether and move directly to the simpler LTE topology, while maintaining stability of the 2G network.

He added: "Apart from the spectrum and device challenges, operators will have to present customers with a simple, usable, affordable yet innovative LTE mobile broadband proposition to appeal to end users, make tariff structures simple and easy to understand for users, avoiding the "what is a megabyte?’ scenario."

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The research also found that nearly one in three smartphones shipped this year will be LTE enabled, with manufacturers expected to ship more 4G enabled devices relative to 2G/3G devices.

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