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Mobile data traffic has more than doubled in each of the last four years, and the consumer appetite for data will push worldwide 4G/LTE subscribership over 560 million by 2016, according to international research firm Parks Associates (www.parkassociates.com). This is a feature the next gen iPhone is expected to have.
"Nearly 50% of U.S. smartphone users consider 4G/LTE access as very important when choosing a mobile service provider," says Jennifer Kent, Parks Associates' mobile research analyst. "Operators such as AT&T and Verizon are building consumer awareness around 4G/LTE by touting the benefits of the technology. Carriers need to capitalize by experimenting with new mobile data pricing plans and offering new LTE-supported value-added services."
A consumer survey fielded this quarter by Parks Associates finds LTE service is more important than handset selection for smartphone owners when evaluating mobile providers. As of June 2012, 83 carriers have launched LTE networks in 43 countries; 40 more carriers intend to deploy LTE by year end.
Global 4G/LTE subscribership will increase from 9 million in 2011 to over 560 million in 2016, according to Parks Associates. Verizon carried 60% of global LTE traffic on its network as of May 2012. AT&T deployed LTE in August 2011, and it is currently live in 51 markets covering 74 million POPs.