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Superfast 4G LTE Mobile Broadband to Reach 80 Million Users Worldwide in 2013

Posted: 22nd Oct, 2011 By: MarkJ
uk mobile broadband logolte mobile broadband uk logoAnalyst firm ABI Research has estimated that future superfast Long Term Evolution ( LTE ) based Mobile Broadband (4G) technology, which isn't expected to surface in the UK until Q4-2013 at the earliest, will have close to 80 million connections (globally) by the end of 2013.

By contrast global LTE connections are only expected to reach approximately 16 million by the end of 2011 (original news), which suggests a very strong but not earth shattering rate of uptake.

Fei Feng Seet, ABI Research Analyst, said:

"We are expecting to see more LTE networks lighting up in the next year or two, but operators are now taking a quieter approach when it comes to deployment.

The issue of insufficient spectrum echoes across various markets and is especially evident in developing regions as regulators are a bit slow in reacting to market needs."

The 4G (4th Generation) mobile technology could eventually deliver significantly faster download "peak" speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000 Megabits per second), although initial services will be a lot slower but still offer a significant performance boost over today's services (plus better stability / capacity management and latency).

The communications regulator, Ofcom UK, recently (here) published its first research into the UK's national Mobile Broadband speeds and found that the average download speed was just 1.5Mbps (Megabits per second) - rising to 2.1Mbps in areas of "good 3G coverage".

It's still too early to make any accurate predictions about how the first iterations of 4G technology will fair in the UK, although something close to today's average fixed line speeds (6.8Mbps according to Ofcom), or possibly as high as 25-30Mbps in some rare cases, is not beyond the bounds of reason.
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