Global Mobile Broadband - LTE, VoLTE, LTE-A, LTE-B and 5G - Trends and Statistics

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Last updated: 17 Jul 2017 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 20

Analysts: Paul Budde, Kylie Wansink


Long-Term Evolution (LTE) – or 4G – has represented an important growth opportunity for the mobile industry, and operators around the world have invested heavily in rolling out the technology.

5G technology is also now well and truly under development. While there are no firm standards in place, the industry is working hard at making that happen. In the meantime, the early movers are testing their own versions of the 5G technology and this is giving us information about what we can expect – what the technology will be able to deliver. As the roll-out of FttH remains a slow process it is no wonder that more and more people are looking towards mobile as a potential alternative.

Key developments linked to the next generation networks, based on wireless and fibre broadband technology, will include M2M and IoT infrastructure, facilitating the development of smart homes, buildings and cities. Many of these applications will be opened up partly through the use of 4G LTE A(dvanced) – a halfway house on the way to full 5G.

Commercial 5G is not expected to become available in any significant way until at least 2020, with full deployment expected towards the end of that decade. In the past, as newer and faster mobile technologies have been introduced - there has been a relatively fast migration, especially in the developed markets. The deployment of LTE in fact, was one of fastest technology migrations ever seen. LTE technology is expected to carry the majority of mobile traffic for at least the next decade - alongside a slow transition to 5G.

This BuddeComm Intelligence report provides unique and valuable information on 4G LTE and 5G technologies including future roles and potential uses, industry developments, statistics and challenges.

Key developments:

  • In 2017 LTE already carries over 65% of mobile traffic;
  • In mid-July 2016, the FCC adopted new rules to open up the millimetre wave spectrum including 3.85 GHz of licensed spectrum and 7 GHz of unlicensed spectrum;
  • An LTE-B Alliance was formed in April 2016;
  • In early September 2015 Nokia announced its Network-as-a-Service 5G architecture;
  • In late August 2015 Ericsson unveiled the first 5G prototype phone;
  • The smartphone is the largest and fastest-growing LTE device category;
  • WiFi offload will be higher on 4G networks than on lower-speed networks.

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