Throughout recent history there have been battles between technology formats: which will win out on the most contracts and become standard? WiMAX and LTE, as truer-than-HSPA+ 4G services, have been debated by governments and manufacturers alike, no less in Taiwan in its talks with Intel where WiMAX was hoped to be the winning format.
Intel since admitted that it would consider LTE over, or with WiMAX and Taiwan soon followed.
Now an allegiance has been confirmed by industry watchers at IHS iSuppli who think that LTE will be leaving WiMAX in the dust.
Analysts believe that widespread mobile network operator (MNO) adoption means LTE will have over nine times as many subscribers as WiMAX, acting as its main rival, by 2014. LTE will be rolled out rapidly over the next two years, says iSuppli, and will race past WiMAX by 2012. By 2014, LTE subscribers should be at 303.1 million – a vast difference to WiMAX’s expected 33.4 million.
This year will see the kick-start of the quick growth, subscriber rates doubling from 6.8 million last year to 14.9 million this year. This will be encouraged by tier-one operators like AT&T and Verizon, as well as Vodafone in Europe. The UK will probably remain buggered.
Purists still agree that the two competitors are not technically 4G technologies. But others will argue that the leap ahead from the likes of HSPA+ constitutes them as fast “enough” to be 4G as one industry insider confirmed to TechEye recently.
10 LTE operatore have launched globally so far, with a huge 30 more to enter the fray according to IHS iSuppli forecasts. Meanwhile WiMAX will see operators mostly in Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific, then the Middle East, Africa and eventually the Americas.