Worldwide uptake for video-friendly 4G LTE poised to spike

Michelle Clancy | 28-02-2014

The uptake for mobile video is about to get a shot in the arm: worldwide LTE-related subscriptions reached 229.7 million in 2013, and will continually grow at a CAGR of 43.6% between 2013-2019, to exceed two billion.

Greater penetration of LTE, capable of supporting high quality broadcast experiences, will significantly alter the landscape for mobile television and video by offering a landline-comparable viewing experience to consumers.

ABI Research estimates that by the end of 2013, LTE-TDD subscribers accounted for 5% of the LTE market, while 94.2% of the LTE market was taken up by LTE-FDD.

For now, among the LTE subscription growth, Asia-Pacific contributes the most with a 49% market share. The second greatest contributor is North America with an 18% share.

"The large population base in Asia combined with rapid LTE network deployment and cost-competitive smartphones has accelerated the remarkable subscriber adoption," said Marina Lu, research associate at ABI Research.

Further, all the major mobile operators are also showing their commitments to carrier aggregation capable LTE-Advanced technology, which can better handle the anticipated explosion in mobile data and video traffic with greater bandwidth. ABI Research forecasts that LTE-Advanced subscribers will grow to 750 million in 2019, accounting for 37.3% of overall LTE subscribers. North America will be the most aggressive LTE-Advanced market, followed by Asia-Pacific and Western Europe.

"Remarkably, the South Korean Operators, SK Telecom and LG U+, commercially launched LTE-Advanced networks in June 2013 and by the end of 2013, SK Telecom gained more than one million LTE-Advanced subscribers, which equates to 10% of all its LTE subscribers," adds Jake Saunders, ABI vice president and practice director.