LTE set to take off, claims report

LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology will generate revenue of $70 billion (49 billion) over the next five years globally, as it offers faster mobile broadband speeds to consumers and businesses, according to a new report by Juniper Research.

LTE is the next generation of mobile broadband technology, which seems to be winning the battle against WiMax to become the next mobile wireless industry standard.

LTE could offer mobile broadband speeds of over 100Mbps, which the report's author Howard Wilcox noted was five times faster than the best mobile broadband, and 20 times faster than average fixed-line DSL. Juniper suggested that faster mobile speeds will create a "new connected era" for devices such as digital cameras and game consoles, in addition to mobile payments.

But challenges remain for LTE, especially when it comes to price, according to Wilcox. "The challenge for mobile operators is how to make profits yet keep prices attractive enough for subscribers to sign up. It's all about the business case," he said.

While the recession could slow LTE's progress in the short term, Juniper predicted the format's growth in the long term will not be affected.

Motorola started testing its LTE network earlier this year in Swindon, while Nokia shelved its last remaining WiMax device in January.