Move to 4G ‘will be faster’

Move to 4G ‘will be faster’

The shift to 4G will be faster than the move to previous generations of the internet, according to predictions from Informa Telecoms & Media.

The organisation has predicted that there will be 1.3 billion 4G LTE subscribers around the world by the end of 2018. This is compared to the 188.6 million users anticipated to be on the service by the end of this year.

According to the forecast, this would equate to a 44 per cent growth over the next five years. The USA would be the largest market for LTE throughout this time, the experts added.

Paul Lambert, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, claimed that LTE is able to provide operators with a new “lease of life”. 

In addition to being able to offer an improved user experience, a chance to sharpen branding messages and an opportunity to differentiate themselves from rivals, Mr Lambert said that operators are also seeing changes in consumer behaviour. 

He commented: “The initial signs are that LTE users are consuming more data than 3G customers: 28 per cent of the operator respondents said they saw an increase in data usage of 11 per cent or more when a subscriber migrates to 3G.”

This research supports previous research from Strategy Analytics last year, which predicted that 4G LTE connections would surpass the billion subscriber mark at some point in early 2017. 

He noted that the most successful LTE operators are not charging a premium for the service, which is “key” when it comes to take-up of the service. 

Even if 4G is priced at around the same as 3G, service providers still need to prove the worth of their new network, to ensure users see the value in opting for it.