Report Examines Global Private LTE Market (8/5/13)
Monday, August 05, 2013 | Comments

The private Long Term Evolution (LTE) market is expected to show slow growth during the next five years, but longer term the amount of data connections are expected to soar, according to a recently published study from information and analytics provider IHS.

The report, “Broadband PMR/LMR Solutions—World—2013,” examined the increasing data used by licensed LMR users over commercial cellular, private cellular — including private LTE — and traditional LMR networks. More than 400,000 data connections will be over private LTE networks by the end of 2017, IHS forecasts, with the number of connections projected to exceed 3 million by the end of 2023. Private networks allow mobile radio users to deploy and manage their own broadband network, providing more control and guaranteed network access at broadband speeds, particularly essential in mission-critical situations.

“Demand for data is increasing today in many parts of the world, and users are expecting much more sophisticated and high-bandwidth applications over their networks,” said Jennifer Shortland, analyst for critical communications at IHS. “However, functionality over traditional LMR networks is limited, and good data rates come at the cost of further spectrum allocation. Consequently, many users are opting to make do with data use over commercial cellular until private cellular networks become more readily available.”

To date, private cellular network uptake remains slow. Despite some spectrum allocations in the United Arab Emirates and Australia, as well as the rollout of the public-safety broadband network in the United States, uptake globally remains hampered by the spectrum and funding issues.

“While the industry appears to be moving toward private LTE solutions to address growing data demand, this transition will be exceptionally protracted,” Shortland said. “Spectrum allocation — particularly across Europe, where dedicated harmonized spectrum is expected to be assigned for public-safety users — will take many years.”

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