Gigabit LTE Market - Overview
Gigabit LTE is one of the major advancements to be introduced in mobile networks soon. It is set to impact products ranging from smartphones and laptops to cars and portable hotspots. Gigabit LTE is an upgrade of the current cellular long-term evolution (LTE) technology that offers high connection speeds. Gigabit LTE is a kind of LTE that is intended to hit an approximate downstream speed of 1 gigabit per second under ideal conditions. In other words, Gigabit LTE can make it possible to download at a speed of about 1 Gbps (or 125 MB/s) over a cellular network.
Gigabit LTE Market - Drivers and Restraints
Gigabit LTE functions on the basis of three principal network technologies: 4×4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), carrier aggregation, and 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). 4×4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) needs four antenna ports at the receiver and transmitter ends to increase the capacity of a radio frequency (RF) link. Carrier aggregation is used to effectively connect non-adjacent bits of radio spectrum (both licensed and unlicensed) together, into a broader channel. 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is a method of manipulating waveform to tolerate a higher bit rate per megahertz.
One of the major restraining factors for the Gigabit LTE market is spectrum unavailability, as most carriers do not have enough licensed spectra to deliver speeds in Gbps and then they opt for unlicensed spectrum. In order to stop this, licensed assisted access (LAA) has been introduced. Licensed assisted access is the key route to 5G, providing speed above 1 Gbps. It is an LTE feature that leverages the free 5 GHz unlicensed band combined with licensed spectrum. Introduction of LAA is expected to drive Gigabit LTE to its theoretical limit.
The Gigabit LTE market is currently concentrated with a very few major firms holding a major share of the market. These firms are Ericsson, AT&T, and Qualcomm Technologies. Furthermore, various licensing schemes and government regulations are leading customers toward established players. Essentially, more advanced devices imply better network experience for all device users. Lower download times, a fewer number of network resources utilized, and rise in spectral efficiency are some of the benefits offered by Gigabit LTE.
Gigabit LTE Market Segmentation
Geographically, North America is expected to dominate the global Gigabit LTE market during the forecast period, with presence of a large number of service providers in the region. North America is followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. On the other hand, Australia has become the first country to obtain ultra-high Gigabit speeds on a cellular network commercially, with the partnership between Telstra, Netgear, Ericsson, a communication technology provider, and Qualcomm Technologies, a telecommunication equipment provider based in the U.S.
The IT & telecommunications industry is expected to be the leading contributor to the Gigabit LTE market in the next few years, as the industry would be the sole provider of the technology. Nevertheless, other industries would also be utilizing Gigabit LTE to run their daily operations more effectively, as every industry is now transforming into digital and opting for automation in more number of operational areas.
Gigabit LTE is expected to allow startups running on a thin budget to operate without investing in the network infrastructure or broadband connectivity, thereby facilitating virtual offices. With the use of Gigabit LTE, Accounts, CRM, Business Intelligence, and other data-intensive applications are expected to function flawlessly, irrespective of whether the user is on the way or is working from home. This technology would encourage more number of companies to design industry-specific apps.
Gigabit LTE Market - Key Players
Several companies are entering into partnerships and alliances to commercially provide Gigabit LTE; for example, T-Mobile and Telstra, in partnership with Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, and Netgear. Some of the major players operating in the global Gigabit LTE Market are AT&T, Ericsson, Singtel, Qualcomm Technologies, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited, Netgear, Verizon Wireless, BCE, Inc. (Bell Canada), Horizon Communications, and Telstra.
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