A recent report by LightReading stated that the Asia Pacific (APAC) region will provide the main impetus for growth of 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in the near future. Countries, such as China, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore are on the verge of significantly expanding their nationwide LTE network either in Time Division Duplex (TDD) or in Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) mode.
This development has resulted in huge market opportunities for global mobile infrastructure vendors like LM Ericsson AB (ERIC - Analyst Report), Nokia Solutions and Networks (NOK - Analyst Report), Alcatel-Lucent SA , Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp.
The major thrust for LTE deployment is coming from China. China Mobile Ltd., the largest wireless operator globally with respect to subscribers, has garnered 130 MHz spectrum for its proposed LTE-TDD network. Its closest competitors, namely, China Unicom and China Telecom have gathered 40 MHz airwaves each. All three companies are expected to start LTE deployment from early 2014.
In Taiwan, Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (CHT - Analyst Report) recently won 2 slots of 1800 MHz spectrums to install 4G LTE wireless network. LTE deployment will start from mid-2014. KDDI Corp. and NTT DoCoMo of Japan are expected to increase their capital expenditures for LTE deployment. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. of Singapore might also initiate LTE deployment soon.
The GSM Association’s research wing, GMSA Intelligence, recently revealed that there will be more than 1 billion LTE connections globally by 2017. Currently, there are approximately 176 million LTE connections worldwide. By 2017, there will be around 465 LTE networks across 128 countries.
GSMA Intelligence further reported that LTE users consume an average of 1.5 GB data per month, two-fold the amount consumed by non-LTE users. In developing countries, LTE users can generate 20 times higher average revenue per user (ARPU) to carriers than non-LTE users, whereas in the developed countries ARPU can be 10%-40% higher for LTE users than non-LTE users.