Long-Term Evolution (LTE), the most sought after, next-generation (4G) super-fast wireless communications technology, is gaining rapid momentum worldwide. 4G wireless networks primarily aim to cope with the substantial rise in demand for high-speed wireless data services and mobile video.
According to a recent research report published by Ovum for industry association 5G Americas, the connections have surpassed 2 billion globally by the end of Feb 2017. As per the research report, LTE connections will continue to rise to 3 billion in 2018, 4 billion in 2020 and will reach 5 billion in 2022. At this rate, 4G LTE is set to outnumber 3G (all forms of 3G technologies) subscribers globally by 2020. In 2016, the LTE subscription grew by 74% year-over-year to 1.9 billion. By the end of 2021, global LTE market share will cross 53%.
The LTE network has the highest penetration rate of 83% in the North American region. Western Europe has a LTE penetration rate of 47% and Oceania, Eastern and South-eastern Asia have 46%. The North American region, which had nearly 298 million LTE connections at the end of 2016, is likely to achieve 100% LTE penetration in 2018. In the Latin American and Caribbean region, LTE market share was 17% at the end of 2016 and is projected to go up to 24% by 2017-end.
Wireless network standards are continuously evolving around the globe to offer faster speed. Following significant deployment of 4G LTE networks, LTE-A (Long-Term Evolution Advanced) wireless networks are gradually finding a solid foothold globally. LTE-A is a more powerful version of the legacy LTE network, offering increased speed and network capacity.
Carrier aggregation is the most important part of LTE-A technology as it allows wireless operators to create large spectrum assets by combining different frequency bands. LTE-A also incorporates several technological advancements like Coordinated Multi-Point, Self-Optimizing Networks, Small cell enhancements, Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination and Advanced Multi-Input Multi-Output antenna.
Earlier research on 4G in the Americas had stated that the latest version of LTE-A network, which is popularly known as LTE-Advanced Pro (3GPP Release 13) will be a major step toward the smooth transition from 4G to the upcoming 5G network standard. In the U.S., all four national telecom operators, namely, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ – Free Report) , AT&T Inc. (T – Free Report) , T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS – Free Report) and Sprint Corp. (S – Free Report) have deployed LTE-A networks. All four stocks currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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