4G LTE will account for 50% of US wireless connections by end of 2014

U.S. will lead the world in 4G LTE with 190 million connections by the end of this year, says Strategy Analytics

High-speed 4G LTE will account for 50 percent of U.S. wireless connections by end of this year and 79 percent by the end of 2018, predicts Strategy Analytics.

In terms of total connections, the U.S. will lead the world in 4G LTE with 190 million connections by the end of this year, one-third of total the 528 million LTE connections expected worldwide, according to Strategy Analytics.

"2014 will be a great year for 4G LTE in the U.S.," observes Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director of wireless operators and networks at Strategy Analytics.

"T-Mobile and Sprint will work hard to level the network playing field by building out high-capacity coverage, while AT&T and Verizon Wireless will look to broaden the appeal or functionality of LTE with services such as VoLTE [voice over LTE] and sponsored mobile data, as well as a broader range of connected devices such as cars and wearables. This will help the US to buck the trend of revenue stagnation or decline seen in many developed markets today," she adds.

T-Mobile's acquisition and swap of spectrum with Verizon Wireless should spur continued build out of 4G LTE by the U.S. carriers, the research firm judges. In 2012, T-Mobile agreed to buy a portion of the advanced wireless services (AWS) band from Verizon Wireless in order to build out its LTE network. In addition, both companies agreed to a spectrum swap that allowed each firm greater contiguous spectrum in a number of markets.

"The spectrum trade is a great deal for both T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The 700MHz spectrum, covering 50 percent of the US population, will be crucial for T-Mobile as it looks to catch up with its larger rivals on 4G LTE coverage. And Verizon Wireless's priorities are all about capacity: with two-thirds of traffic on its LTE network, additional AWS and PCS spectrum will form an important part of its network build-out plans," comments Phil Kendall, director of wireless operator strategies at Strategy Analytics.

For more:
- read Strategy Analytics' release

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