Merry Christmas to all our readers!
As the year draws to a close its natural that we take stock and look back at what has happened in the LTE industry over the past year.
The US market took off in a big way as AT&T and Verizon competed to beef up their LTE networks, while South Korea and Japan saw a large influx of LTE subscribers boosting numbers worldwide.
VoLTE services also became a reality as MetroPCS and SKT launched the technology. As LTE networks began to spring up across Europe even the UK got its LTE act together and launched a live service towards the end of the year.
TD-LTE is also expanding its reach, with networks staring to deploy in China and areas such as Malaysia. This will be looked at in more depth at the brand new TD-LTE Summit, taking place on the 23rd-24th April 2013 at the Fairmont Singapore Hotel, Singapore.
A great way of gauging the events of the last year is to take a look at the top ten news articles that have appeared on our sister publication Telecoms.com.
It’s exclusive revelation that Apple vets LTE networks was not only the top LTE story of the year, it was the most read Telecoms.com news story ever, despite only going up two weeks ago!
While 2012 was big for LTE, 2013 is set to be even bigger as the technology consolidates itself in Europe and begins to spread to new markets such as Africa, and we’ll be celebrating this at the LTE Africa conference, taking place on the 16th-17th July 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa.
We look forward to continuing to bring you all the latest exciting LTE developments in 2013 and all of these hot topics will be covered in depth across our LTE events series in 2013.
Happy holidays and see you all next year!
1. Apple vetting operators on LTE network performance – November 30, 2012:
A little snippet in a Swisscom press release and an unwitting confirmation from said company was all it took to reveal that Apple calls the shots when it comes to which LTE networks the iPhone 5 can run on. One leading industry consultant was “shocked” by the revelations but really we all already knew where the power now lies in the industry. World’s Most Valuable Company 1 – Telecoms Industry 0.
2. Samsung deploys Three UK’s LTE network – August 24, 2012:
Samsung has already become a major force in handsets, so it makes sense that the Korean firm wants to do the same as a network equipment vendor. It has already done deals in the US, Japan and Middle-East and a deal with 3UK to supply it with LTE RAN equipment gives it an important foothold in Europe too.
Devices and prices. These are two core elements that hold back the take up of any new network and this post LTE MENA conference analysis from Informa principal analyst Matthew Reed showed that it was proving no different for LTE in the Middle-East.
4. New LTE devices to shake up smartphone market – January 10, 2012:
Speaking of devices, the LTE market got a shot in the arm right at the beginning of the year when Sony, Nokia and Huawei all announced LTE handsets: the Xperia S, the Lumia 900 and Ascend P1 S respectively. A handset released at the other end of the year had greater impact, but these got there first
5. Vodafone seethes as Ofcom clears UK LTE1800 launch – August 21, 2012:
The backwards and forwards appeal process between the four big UK networks related to the 4G spectrum auction was getting so farcical it could well have been set to a Benny Hill soundtrack. UK regulator Ofcom clearly felt it had had enough of all this silliness and decided to let EE refarm its 1800 spectrum and launch LTE. Vodafone was not pleased. Cue Benny Hill music.
6. First LTE phone coming to Vodafone Germany – February 9, 2012:
It’s all very well having an LTE network, but to go mainstream you need phones. Lots of phones. Cue much excitement then in February when the first LTE handset for the European market turned up on Vodafone D2 in Germany. It might actually have been a Samsung Galaxy S2 on Tele2 that beat it to the punch, but either way the LTE ball had started rolling.
7. Brazilian operators select LTE provider – October 11, 2012:
As a worldwide technology, LTE benefits from an expansive eco-system and the resultant economies of scale. Telefonica Brazil and local incumbent Oi both announced their LTE plays in Brazil in October, with Ericsson the main beneficiary on the vendor side
8. UK welcomes new LTE brand; now rivals must step up – September 11, 2012:
Once Ofcom got the aforementioned Benny Hill music to finally stop, EE, the new 4G brand from France Telecom and Deutsche Telecom’s joint UK play Everything Everywhere, was finally able to launch its LTE network in the UK. As the dust settled Telecoms.com’s managing editor James Middleton analysed the fallout from EE’s disruptive move.
9. LTE and the backhaul challenge – January 12, 2012:
With so much attention placed in the RAN, it’s important to remember the importance of backhaul in ensuring the performance of the network remains strong. Back in January Dawinderpal Sahota took a closer look at the various technologies involved.
10. Rogers lights up Canadian LTE network – July 8, 2012:
Not wanting to let the US have all the fun, Canadian operator Rogers lit up its LTE network in July. We were amused that as it had already dubbed its HSPA+ services as 4G, it was forced to market its LTE network as “Beyond 4G”. Blame Canada.