High speed LTE hits slowdown

2013-02-25 07:27
The Nokia Lumia is a smartphone alternative to Samsung, Apple and HTC devices. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Nokia Lumia is a smartphone alternative to Samsung, Apple and HTC devices. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Barcelona - Lightning-fast fourth generation mobile networks are spreading rapidly worldwide, led by the US, Japan and South Korea, but Europe lags behind and its economic crisis could brake investment, an industry report said on Monday.

Next generation Long Term Evolution, or LTE, networks promise download speeds to mobile phone users as fast as fixed broadband connections, opening the way to new mobile services such as high-definition videos with no buffering lag.

But the new networks need significant new investment by operators, and Europe has fallen behind, industry analysts Idate said in a 2013 report.

By mid 2012, 26.5 million people were subscribing to LTE services, it said.

US operators led by Verizon Wireless had 13 million customers on the new LTE networks, South Korean operators had 7.5 million subscribers and Japanese operators 3.4 million, it said.

Faster technology

But the report, released on the opening day of the world's biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain, showed the biggest users of LTE networks in Europe were Germany and Sweden with 300 000 each, while Austria logged just 180 000.

"LTE technology has now been adopted in all areas of the world and is growing rapidly," the report said

An even faster technology, known as LTE Advanced, or True 4G, is expected to be rolled out this year with the US, Japan and South Korea once again the front-runners, it said.

Some 350 mobile operators were now investing in LTE in 104 countries, the report said.

"With the LTE ecosystem growing so rapidly, Idate forecasts that there will be more than 912 million LTE subscribers worldwide by the end of 2016."

In 2016, Asia-Pacific nations would still be leaders, it predicted, with 41% of the world's LTE customers compared to 21% for North America and 16% for Western Europe.

Europe had once been a leader, with TeliaSonera launching the first fourth-generation network in Sweden and Norway at the end of 2009.

New generation

But no longer.

"Macro-economic constraints are slowing down rapid investments in LTE networks in Europe," the industry research house said.

Operators in Europe may choose to share the same LTE network so as to curb investment costs, it said.

"LTE is now a 'must have': Operators which do not adopt the technology will lose ground in their market and will not benefit from the economies provided by LTE," Idate warned.

Most operators were investing in LTE to gain additional capacity and drive down costs, it said.

"It has lots of advantages and will make a big difference in financial terms for operators, though not necessarily right away, without mentioning the faster speeds and new services," said IDC frequency specialist Frederic Pujol.

A new generation of smartphones was now available in all main markets with the capacity to link to the new networks, removing a key obstacle to growth, Idate said.

But the technology is not universal, with some 15 different bandwidths being used for fourth generation services, hampering international roaming.

Idate notes that Apple's iPhone 5, for example cannot link to two fourth-generation frequencies used by several European nations - 800MHz and 2.6GHz.

"Chip manufacturers are integrating more and more frequency bands into the chipset but you also have to integrate the antennas into the handsets," said Pujol.

"Some are not making the effort, like Apple with the iPhone 5, which does not support two of the three European bandwidths. But the problem for Apple should be fixed with the next iPhone," he said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    mobile  |  broadband
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Health
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.