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115 Million 4G LTE Subscribers Forecast by 2014

While it's still true that LTE, the 4G mobile network standard, is destined to become the globally dominant wireless airlink, several formidable challenges will make its widespread adoption slower than many expect.

As an example, spectrum has to be cleared, licensed, and either allocated or sold off before LTE gains meaningful momentum. As every country has its own telecommunications regulations, these factors will take varying periods of time to be resolved.

However, despite this difficult path to adoption and growth, according to the latest market study by In-Stat, the number of LTE subscribers will approach 115 million by 2014.

"U.S. operator LTE CAPEX spending will drive wireless leadership from Asia and Europe to North America," says Chris Kissel, Industry Analyst for In-Stat.

From 2009 to 2014, more than one quarter of global LTE CAPEX spending will occur in the U.S. market. As a result, the U.S. will have more LTE subscribers than the entire Asia-Pacific region by the end of 2014 -- even though it will have less than half the POPs.

In-Stat's latest market study found the following:

- Although the vast majority of LTE subscribers will be FDD-LTE, TD-LTE will have a CAGR through 2014 of almost twice that of FDD-LTE.

- Working through technology partners, Huawei and Ericsson, Vodafone purchased 1,500 LTE base stations in Germany in 2010.

- LTE networks will have better than half of all last mile backhaul capacity in North America by 2014.

- Despite the potential for LTE services in China and India, Japan is very likely to have the most LTE subscribers in Asia-Pacific by the end of 2014.

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