After all of the hype, it looks as though LTE potential is finally being recognised by UK businesses, and it looks set to snowball. There have been some interesting results revealed in new research by the GSA and Infonetics. The study shows that even though there has been a great deal of interest surrounding 5G, “true 4G” has begun to gather momentum. It was highlighted by Infonetics that 4G services such as VoLTE are getting a foothold in the market after launches by several telcos in recent months.
Deployment of LTE-A is also ramping up, with over 50 per cent of the operators saying that they have used LTE-A in their network systems. Talking about the new developments, Research Director Stéphane Téral from IHS (Mobile Infrastructure and Carrier Economics) said: “The 5G debate has started with great fanfare, hype and confusion, but little substance about what it is exactly and what it is not.
“We are slowly but surely moving to true 4G, and that’s good news. Most users already believe they are on 4G, and that’s the bad news because the experience is far from consistent and is falling short of expectations. How many times does your smartphone display LTE or 4G and you still see the infamous spinning wheel?”
A separate GSA report revealed that 422 LTE networks have already been rolled out in 143 countries, and 106 of them were put in place within the last year. These LTE, VoLTE and TDD deployments look set to continue to grow. VoLTE-based HD voice services have been started by 25 operators in 16 countries, with another 103 operators in 49 countries investing in deployments, studies or trials.
The great news for the UK is that Vodafone is planning to launch Voice over LTE in the very near future.