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June 24, 2013

LTE-Advanced subscriptions to reach 500 million by 2018

The LTE subscriptions for the first quarter of 2013 grew by 37.5%.

By CBR Staff Writer

Mobile LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) subscriptions are expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 295% during 2013-2018 to reach 500 million subscribers, a report from ABI Research has suggested.

The 500 million subscribers during the period will account for 34% of the total 1.47 billion LTE-related subscriptions in 2018.

According to the report, the LTE subscriptions for the first quarter of 2013 grew by 37.5% quarter-on-quarter to 108 million subscribers.

In North America, LTE-A is expected to be commercially launched by the end of 2013, and the region is expected to be the most aggressive market for LTE-A during forecast period reaching 220 million subscribers by 2018, followed by Asia-Pacific and Western Europe.

ABI Research core forecasting VP and practise director, Jake Saunders, said that the all the major US mobile operators have started upgrading their LTE-Advanced devices.

By 2018, the LTE-A subscriptions in Asia-Pacific are expected to increase to 159 million, while in Western Europe the number of subscribers are anticipated to be 55 million.

ABI Research associate Marina Lu said that the subscriptions in South Korea reached 20 million in the first quarter of 2013, reporting a 37% increase.

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"There has been tremendous pent-up demand for ultra-high speed data services," Lu added.

"SK Telecom is aggregating two frequency bands in the 850 MHz and 1800 MHz bands to commercially launch its LTE-A services in September 2013. All the signs indicate it is on schedule to do so."

The report reveals that the increase in mobile data traffic and a need for greater bandwidth, carrier aggregation, can help operators to build greater transmission capacity, while reducing pressure on legacy spectrum assets.

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