Mobile communication network infrastructure is a proven catalyst for economic growth. Therefore, more nations have assigned and auctioned radio spectrum to accommodate anticipated traffic that results from increasing mobile internet usage.
4G LTE-Advanced networks have been actively deployed around the world, according to the latest global market study by ABI Research.
At the end of 2014, LTE-Advanced covered its first 100 million people worldwide -- that's just 4 years since the network technology inception.
ABI Research predicts that the coverage will reach 1 billion mobile subscribers in 4 more years. At the end of 2014, there were 49 commercially available LTE-Advanced networks around the world.
Western European operators lead the commercialization with 20 operators, followed by 13 in Asia-Pacific; however, North America still commands the largest population coverage at 7.8 percent.
"All four major operators of the United States have either commercially deployed (AT&T and Sprint) or have been actively deploying (Verizon and T-Mobile) their LTE-Advanced networks," said Lian Jye Su, research associate at ABI Research.
Globally, a number of major auctions are expected to take place in several major markets during 2015.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has just recently confirmed a LTE spectrum auction on the 25th of February. In France, the government has recently approved the reassignment of the 700 MHz band for telecom services.
When mobile service adoption becomes more saturated in a market, the greater the demand for incremental infrastructure seems more urgent. As an example, the FCC is currently conducting an auction for AWS-3 spectrum in the United States.
As heavy subscriber data traffic growth has exploded, ABI Research anticipates fierce competition for more spectrum, as well as an active migration to VoLTE -- and higher data modulation schemes such as LTE and LTE-Advanced, which has higher spectral efficiency.