Long-Term Evolution (LTE), the most sought after, next-generation (4G) super-fast wireless communications technology, is fast gaining momentum across the world. 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 reached 2.37 billion globally at the end of second-quarter 2017. This indicates an improvement of a whopping 59% year over year. Per the report, LTE connections will continue to rise to 2.5 billion in 2017, 3 billion in 2018 and will eventually reach 4.9 billion in 2022. At this rate, 4G LTE is set to outnumber 3G (all forms of 3G technologies) subscribers globally by 2020. By the end of 2021, global LTE market share will cross 53%.
The LTE network has the highest penetration rate of 90.5% in the North American region. Both Western Europe region and Oceania, Eastern and South-eastern Asia region have a LTE penetration rate of 54%. The North American region, which had 327 million LTE connections at the end of second-quarter 2017, is likely to achieve 100% LTE penetration in 2018. In the Latin American and Caribbean region, LTE market share has more than doubled year-over-year to 23%. This figure is projected to grow 28% by the end of this year and further to 59% in 2021.
Wireless network standards are continuously evolving across 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 the 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 such as 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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