As people continue to look for ways to “cut the cord” and move away from traditional cable services, right now they largely have no choice but to continue subscribing to ISPs’ Internet services even if they cancel pay-TV. Over the next few years, however, that need might fade in many regions. According to new research from ABI, LTE-FDD (frequency-division duplex) will expand to cover 57% of the global population by 2018 while LTE-TDD (time-division duplex) will cover 52% of the population by that point in time. More →
The United States has outstanding LTE coverage compared to other markets, however worldwide carriers are beginning to upgrade their networks to deliver the high-speed wireless technology to their customers. According to a new report from ABI Research, the total mobile data traffic for 2012 amounted to 13,412 petabytes, an increase of 69% from 2011 when 3G data usage accounted for 46% of all traffic. The accelerated adoption of 4G LTE is expected to increase in 2013, however. The research firm estimates that LTE data traffic will grow an astonishing 207% year-over-year in 2013, compared to 99% growth for 3G traffic. The increase for LTE traffic comes as a result of added 4G deployments in developed markets throughout the world. There are still a number of markets that have not yet upgraded to the technology, though.
2012 will likely go down as the year when LTE became a standard smartphone feature rather than a luxury. Strategy Analytics has put out new research this week showing that the fourth quarter of 2012 “witnessed phenomenal +1100% annual growth for LTE handset volumes, led by Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (005930) in developed markets.” 2012 was certainly a banner year for LTE in the United States after Sprint (S) finally got around to launching its own LTE services and both Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) continued expanding their LTE networks to cover the majority of major markets throughout the country. With much of the U.S. now covered, carriers’ next big milestone will be deploying Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services that will let users make calls over LTE and thus potentially end the need for separate voice and data plans.
In many ways, the United States is way ahead of the curve when it comes to LTE service since we have three major carriers that offer LTE in the majority of major markets throughout the country. But GigaOM points us to a new study from British network-testing firm OpenSignal showing that while America has the most overall LTE networks of any country, it only ranks eighth in terms of network speeds with an average download speed of 9.6Mbps. In this respect, the U.S. trails LTE speed champion Sweden, whose networks deliver average download speeds of over 22Mbps, as well as its northern neighbor Canada, whose networks deliver average download speeds of just over 18Mbps. More →
It took Sprint (S) a little longer than its rivals to get LTE services up and running, but the carrier has made admirable progress on getting the United States covered ever since its first launch this past summer. Sprint on Wednesday announced that it has deployed LTE to 49 markets over the past six months and is planning on several new launches for early 2013. In all, Sprint says it plans 150 new LTE launches “in the coming months,” an ambitious target that would go a long way toward helping the carrier catch up with rivals Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T).
High-speed 4G LTE networks are the future of mobile data in the United States and around the world. A number of major wireless providers have already deployed LTE networks and others are expected to follow soon. The Yankee Group found that by the end of 2012 there will be 152 commercial LTE networks across 65 countries, an increase from 47 networks in 2011. The research firm predicts that in 2013 there will be roughly 114 million mobile subscribers utilizing the high-speed technology, a number that is expected to more than double to 258 million by the end of 2014. The global voice and messaging revenue mobile operators are expected to make is also predicted to fall from $769 billion in 2011 to $697 billion in 2016. As a result, Yankee expects service providers to bundle additional content apps and services with LTE subscriptions, as well as increasing their cloud-based storage offerings. More →
Sprint (S) is on a roll with its 4G LTE coverage build out in the United States. Only two weeks after it revealed it will bring 4G LTE coverage to nine additional U.S. markets, the wireless carrier announced on Monday it is adding 11 more cities and counties to its high-speed network. Currently available in 43 markets, Sprint’s 4G LTE coverage will hit locations in Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia over the next weeks and months. More →
Sprint (S) is expanding its 4G LTE network as fast as it can. Last month, the carrier announced its plans to roll LTE out to 22 additional U.S. markets over the next few months and now it’s adding another nine more U.S. cities to the list. The nine new cities that will be getting Sprint’s fast 4G LTE include: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Oakland/Fremont/Haward, California; Key West, Florida; Fort Smith, Arkansas; Michigan City/La Port, Indiana; Bloomington, Indiana; Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Ardmore, Oklahoma; and McAllen/Edinburg/Mission, Texas. More →
Why settle for using either LTE or Wi-Fi when you could use both? That’s the question that researchers at several major universities have tried to answer by developing a new wireless technology capable of opening up more bandwidth by delivering the best of both wireless worlds. According to Technology Review, the new wireless tech has been developed by “researchers at MIT, the University of Porto in Portugal, Harvard University, Caltech, and Technical University of Munich” and is able to “seamlessly weave data streams from Wi-Fi and LTE” to deliver data more efficiently. More →
Yes, America, we really are paying too much for our monthly data plans. The New York Times reports that a new study from the GSM Association’s Wireless Intelligence research team has found that American Verizon (VZ) subscribers pay around $7.50 for each gigabyte of data they download, compared to European users who pay $2.50 per gigabyte. A Verizon spokesperson defended the company’s pricing to the Times and said that the study didn’t take into account that Verizon’s plans also offered unlimited voice and texting and weren’t straight-up data plans. Even so, taking voice and text prices out of the equation shows that Verizon customers pay $5.50 per gigabyte, more than double the European average. More →
Carriers can blow smoke over which one has the largest “4G” network since the term “4G” encompasses multiple types of wireless technology. But when it comes to having the largest LTE network — and all tests show that LTE services are faster than HSPA+ and WiMAX — Verizon (VZ) is the undisputed champion. And during the MobileCON wireless trade show on Tuesday, the company announced two major milestones: First, it now covers 400 markets with its LTE services and second, it will have Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services up and running by the end of 2013. As CNET reports, “consumer trials will begin in late 2013″ with the goal of rolling out the service by the end of the year or the start of 2014. More →
Samsung (005930) will soon go from licking its wounds to licking its chops if Apple’s (AAPL) next iPhone utilizes LTE technology. The Korea Times reports that Samsung has “confirmed that it will immediately sue Apple if the latter releases products using advanced long-term evolution (LTE) mobile technology.” Although Apple has already released an LTE-capable device with the latest version of its iPad, Samsung is likely waiting for Apple to put out an LTE-capable iPhone before busting out its extensive LTE patent portfolio to seek injunctions. An analysis conducted by IP research firm iRunway earlier this year found that Samsung holds fully 10% of all LTE patents issued so far, meaning it could have ample firepower to take on Apple over its use of LTE in future smartphone releases. More →
LTE traditionally requires a pretty substantial battery, but new reports suggest that Apple (AAPL) has either figured out a way to bring 4G LTE to the iPhone without the added bulk, or is preparing to deliver a seriously underpowered LTE device. After examining leaked pictures of the next-generation iPhone batteries, 9to5Mac found that they were only incrementally larger than previous iPhone generations’ batteries and measured in at 1,440 mAh, 3.8 volts and 5.45 watts-per-hour. By comparison, the Samsung (005930) Galaxy S III has a battery that checks in at 2,100 mAh while the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX checks in at a whopping 3,300 mAh. More →