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4G Wireless Service Deployments Still Troubled

Will the evolution to forth-generation wireless services follow the path of its predecessor, troubled by the lack of a cohesive industry effort to reach mainstream adoption? Apparently, the path to full 4G deployment could be more troublesome than prior 3G technologies.

To date, 4G wireless technologies are challenged by a multiple of wireless standards, limited availability of spectrum, constricting business models, as well as a host of other market and industry issues. That said, it could still reach a successful outcome, in spite of all the missteps.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, the new generation of data-centric mobile devices -- such as smartphones, netbooks, and tablets -- are already straining current 3G networks. Regardless, even with these market and technical hurdles, baseband modem integration into mobile devices will reach 2 billion by 2014.

In-Stat's assessment includes the following:

- The transition to 4G communication standards has begun, somewhat slowly, with 3.6 percent of mobile devices with baseband connectivity expected to be using 4G standards in 2014.

- Despite the early lead of WiMAX, LTE is expected to account for over 60 percent of 4G-enabled mobile devices in 2014.

- Integration of baseband solutions is expected to increase, resulting in an 11.0 percent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of broadband-enabled mobile devices.

- Smartphones and computing devices are the only devices expected to transition to 4G technologies over the next five years. Handsets and mobile CE devices will remain on 2G/3G networks because of lower performance, cost, and power requirements.

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