Gigabit LTE is one of the major advancements to be introduced in mobile networks soon. It is set to impact products ranging from smartphones and laptops to cars and portable hotspots. Gigabit LTE is an upgrade of the current cellular long-term evolution (LTE) technology that offers high connection speeds. Gigabit LTE is a kind of LTE that is intended to hit an approximate downstream speed of 1 gigabit per second under ideal conditions. In other words, Gigabit LTE can make it possible to download at a speed of about 1 Gbps (or 125 MB/s) over a cellular network.
Gigabit LTE Market – Drivers and Restraints
Gigabit LTE functions on the basis of three principal network technologies: 4×4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), carrier aggregation, and 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). 4×4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) needs four antenna ports at the receiver and transmitter ends to increase the capacity of a radio frequency (RF) link. Carrier aggregation is used to effectively connect non-adjacent bits of radio spectrum (both licensed and unlicensed) together, into a broader channel. 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is a method of manipulating waveform to tolerate a higher bit rate per megahertz.
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One of the major restraining factors for the Gigabit LTE market is spectrum unavailability, as most carriers do not have enough licensed spectra to deliver speeds in Gbps and then they opt for unlicensed spectrum. In order to stop this, licensed assisted access (LAA) has been introduced. Licensed assisted access is the key route to 5G, providing speed above 1 Gbps. It is an LTE feature that leverages the free 5 GHz unlicensed band combined with licensed spectrum. Introduction of LAA is expected to drive Gigabit LTE to its theoretical limit.
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The Gigabit LTE market is currently concentrated with a very few major firms holding a major share of the market. These firms are Ericsson, AT&T, and Qualcomm Technologies. Furthermore, various licensing schemes and government regulations are leading customers toward established players. Essentially, more advanced devices imply better network experience for all device users. Lower download times, a fewer number of network resources utilized, and rise in spectral efficiency are some of the benefits offered by Gigabit LTE.
Gigabit LTE Market Segmentation
Geographically, North America is expected to dominate the global Gigabit LTE market during the forecast period, with presence of a large number of service providers in the region. North America is followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. On the other hand, Australia has become the first country to obtain ultra-high Gigabit speeds on a cellular network commercially, with the partnership between Telstra, Netgear, Ericsson, a communication technology provider, and Qualcomm Technologies, a telecommunication equipment provider based in the U.S.