Market Research: Private LTE Networks Set to Increase Tenfold by 2019
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 | Comments

The use of Long Term Evolution (LTE) in private cellular networks is projected to grow tenfold between 2014 and 2019, according to a new report from IHS on the broadband market in critical communications for the next five years. However, lack of spectrum and budget remain the two major barriers for growth.

Although IHS forecasts that, long term, the majority of private networks will migrate to LTE, the transition will be slower than previously projected. WiMAX will ultimately be displaced both in private LTE markets and commercial cellular markets.

Despite the increase in use of digital LMR and the evolution of multiple digital technologies such as TETRA and Project 25 (P25), some traditional LMR networks offer limited data rates compared with broadband technologies. High-speed private networks, such as LTE, can offer the best long-term solution for broadband critical communications. It is widely accepted that private LTE will offer mission-critical users the services required.

Asia is forecast to account for most of the active LTE radios on private cellular networks. This is mostly because of the progress in the public-safety sector in China, with Huawei, ZTE Trunking and TD Tech already shipping LTE solutions. Asia and the Americas — mostly China and the United States — are also projected to have the most users in the longer term.

Public-safety users will dominate the installed base of broadband private cellular radios in the near term, with other major sectors gaining ground during the next five years.

One major development playing out in 2015 and 2016 will be the U.K. Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP). Add in the growth of Asian and Middle Eastern private networks, and an extension in the adoption of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) outside of North America, and 2015 is set to provide the clearest picture to date of the future of broadband and narrowband data in critical communications, IHS said in a statement.

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