Worldwide subscriptions to the long-term evolution (LTE) super-fast mobile broadband networks will continue to grow at a rapid pace this year as more operators expand their coverage, a local analyst forecast yesterday.
Aris Hsu (許芢鈞), a researcher at the Taipei-based Topology Research Institute (拓墣產業研究所), forecast at a seminar on mobile broadband that global LTE user numbers would reach 122.08 million this year, up 86 percent from 65.78 million last year.
North America is expected to remain the largest LTE market this year with 64.94 million users, or 53 percent of total LTE users worldwide, followed by the Asia-Pacific region with 42 percent and Western Europe with 3 percent, Hsu said.
However, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to become the largest LTE market in 2015, when its 176.38 million users will account for 47 percent of global subscriptions, with North America taking a 45 percent share, Hsu said.
While Taiwan and China plan to release 4G LTE licenses by the end of this year, Taiwanese networking equipment makers should figure out how to tap into the supply chain and the LTE ecosystem, he added.
The analyst’s projections came after the government’s acceptance of bids for licenses to operate wireless broadband business using 4G technologies closed on Monday.
The National Communications Commission, the nation’s media watchdog, expects the auction to be completed by the end of this year and 4G networks to be launched in 2015 at the earliest.
A 4G network can offer peak data rates of 100 megabits per second for high mobility and 1 gigabit per second for low mobility, according to the International Telecommunication Union, the UN agency that defines industry standards.