Mobile broadband, including LTE, will bridge the digital divide for internet and data communications and WiMax will be phased out according to a report by analysts at WiseHarbor.
In its extended forecast to 2020 for mobile devices including mobile and cellular modems in dongles and embedded modules, the analyst company also said HSPA, CDMA2000 EV-DO and LTE technologies will repeat – for Internet access and data communications by 2020 – the success already achieved by GSM and CDMA2000 1X in connecting 4 billion people worldwide for voice and text. It added that most of these would never require a wired internet connection..
It also predicted that LTE will be as successful as the technologies that preceded it including GSM. However, it will be 2016 – five years after the first LTE service launches in 2010 – before LTE accounts for more than 25 percent of mobile broadband device sales. LTE device sales will also however, not equal those with CDMA-based technologies including EV-DO and HSPA/HSPA+ combined until 2019.
It also seems it’s goodbye to WiMAX and hello to TD-LTE, which will takeover from the old technology when it reaches its peak by 2015. The report said whereas WiMAX has made significant commercial progress by occupying the unpaired spectrum that tends to be much cheaper than the paired spectrum used for CDMA-based technologies including EV-DO and HSPA, TD-LTE will eclipse WiMAX by prevailing in the use of unpaired spectrum as well as the paired spectrum already employed commercially by LTE. However as the industry, especially China Mobile begins to embrace TD-LTE manufactured products, TDD and FDD modes will marginalise WiMAX in the marketplace over the next few years.
The report said Asia Pacific will account for more mobile broadband and LTE device sales than any other region from 2011. The number of devices sold per capita will remain significantly higher in developed nations where average incomes are greatest and replacement rates are fastest.
Device revenues from handsets, dongles and embedded modules will plateau from 2015 with falling average prices and saturating demand for phones. Thereafter, revenue growth will continue largely from the added value mobile broadband provides for the other types of devices in which cellular modems are being embedded, including tablet computers and consumer electronics.