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LTE Market To Top $11 Billion By 2014

Already undergoing rapid deployment, the worldwide spread of Long Term Evolution network technology is accelerating, according to a report from Infonetics Research.

The market research firm expects the LTE market to top $11 billion by 2014 as more firms continue to commit to the high-speed mobile wireless technology. In a report a year ago, Infonetics estimated the LTE market would reach $5 billion in 2013.

"There will be a dozen live LTE networks by the end of 2010," said Stephane Teral, Infonetics' principal analyst for mobile and fixed mobile convergence infrastructure, in a statement. "The total number of committed LTE launches has grown to 64 so far with more commitments expected."

Infonetics took note of Verizon Wireless' "aggressive LTE roadmap" planned for a nationwide rollout in the United States this year, and he added that China Mobile and China Telecom are preparing massive LTE live network deployments by 2012.

Infonetics predicted that a combination of microcells, picocells, and possibly even femtocells will be utilized to fully support promised LTE speeds in dense coverage areas. Although TeliaSonera debuted the world's first commercial LTE network late last year in Oslo and Stockholm, he expects the main LTE events to be in North America and the Asian Pacific regions beginning later this year.

"The second wave will kick off in 2012-2013 when the Chinese operators start their rollouts along with the majority of Western European mobile operators," Teral added.

The major U.S. LTE service is expected to debut with Verizon Wireless' service utilizing data cards, although users will likely be able to use Skype with the service to make voice calls. Voice handsets are expected to be introduced later.