The accepted wisdom is that as mobile operators roll out Long Term Evolution networks, we will slowly move toward a more unified telecom world, but data published today by Wireless Intelligence, a research firm, suggests that the accepted wisdom will be a long time coming. The data from the second quarter of 2011 and predictions extrapolated from that data show that by 2015, LTE networks will still be a small fraction of the standards used when compared to the 3G networks.
However, the rapid growth of faster 3G networks showcases the raging demand for data driven by smartphone adoption and people playing with apps and services on those handsets. I wish the data had covered more tablet info, since that’s likely the next big driver that could utterly accelerate network rollouts.
Some data points worth pondering:
- WCDMA HSPA connections reached an installed base of 500 million during June, making it the fastest-growing cellular technology ever.
- HSPA now accounts for 47 percent of all mobile broadband technology connections.
- Total world connections surpassed 5.5 billion by the end of the quarter, growing by 157 million net additions.
- For Deutsche Telekom, 43 percent of all devices sold in Europe were smartphones (it was 21 percent in 2010).
- For France Telecom, 58 percent of contract gross additions in France and Spain are smartphones, double what they were a year ago.
- Vodafone said 50 percent of shipments in Europe are smartphones.
- In the U.S., AT&T reported that 46 percent of all contract subscribers are using smartphones, versus 32 percent on Verizon. For T-Mobile, 75 percent of all equipment sales came from smartphones.