WiseHarbor reaffirms forecast findings published one year ago that LTE will be as successful
as the leading cellular technologies that preceded it with LTE-TDD precipitating the demise of
WiMAX which will peak by 2015. Mobile broadband will do for Internet connections—averaging
several gigabytes usage per month by 2020—what 2G has achieved over the last 15 years in
providing voice and text communication to more than half the world's population with 5 billion
connections including those with multiple subscriptions. Forecast findings also include:
1. Cellular will maintain its stellar growth because it is the cheapest, most convenient and
pervasive means of connecting people. Increasing demand for mobile broadband and new
types of devices will make up for saturating demand and price erosion in mature phone
markets with voice and SMS. Two-sided operator charging, of content providers as well as end
users, will become the norm.
2. Mobile device sales will grow from 1.6 billion units in 2010 to 3.9 billion in 2025 including
phones, new personal devices such as tablets and a wide variety of machines, such as cars
and utility meters, which have previously been mostly unconnected. Handset revenues will
flatten, approaching 2015, following current buoyancy in average selling prices and the
smartphone surge. Total global mobile connections in service will rise to 21.5 billion (2.7 per
head of population) by 2025.
3. While data traffic grows more than 1,000-fold, operator revenue yield per megabyte will
decline dramatically from $100 with SMS, $1 in voice and $0.10 with mobile data in 2010 to
$0.001 with data predominating in 2025 (global averages including postpaid and prepaid
4. LTE is set to become the leading technology by around the end of the decade with
WCDMA-based HSPA Evolved technologies remaining very strong in the marketplace. GSM
and CDMA will also continue beyond 2020. Mobile operator equipment expenditures will
increase at an annual average of 3.3% net of inflation, with most growth in developing regions.