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One Billion LTE Connections by 2017

Strong Smartphone Growth to Propel 4G Market Forward

Boston, MA - May 16, 2012 - LTE will make its presence felt in 2012 with connection volumes increasing nine-fold to reach 90 million by year-end, according to the latest research from the Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies service, "Worldwide Cellular User Forecasts: 2012-2017." With LTE smartphones now pushing beyond their core early markets of US, South Korea and Japan, this technology is set for a rapid rise and will exceed one billion connections by early 2017.

Strategy Analytics predicts that LTE, which has overwhelming support by global operators as their 4G upgrade path and offers improved cost efficiency for mobile data services, will account for 15 percent of all mobile connections in 2017, putting it on a faster trajectory than any other mobile technologies. GSM took 12 years to reach one billion connections and WCDMA will take nearly 11 years, while LTE will take just over seven years.

"It has taken some time to warm up, but operator sentiment toward LTE has improved significantly over the last year," commented Phil Kendall, Director of the Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies service. "The LTE smartphone market is providing this sudden lift, with LTE’s medium-term potential boosted by the much greater scale in today’s mobile market: WCDMA launched into a world of fewer than one billion mobile connections, whereas we have over six billion connections today."

Sue Rudd, Director, Service Provider Analysis, added, "The race is on for mobile operators to reduce cost per Gigabyte (GB) to match the rate at which revenue per GB is falling. LTE is one of the key tools to deliver this improvement, with the early volume in LTE devices an encouraging sign for operators looking to maximize return on their LTE investments."
 
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