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Market Research Report

How China is shaping the LTE/TD-LTE market in 2015

Published by Digitimes Inc. Product code 329618
Published Content info 40 Pages
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How China is shaping the LTE/TD-LTE market in 2015
Published: April 9, 2015 Content info: 40 Pages

This publication has been discontinued on January 14, 2020.


Digitimes Research estimates that the global LTE market doubled in size to 445 million users in 2014 and we further forecast that annual growth in the number of LTE users will remain above 70% between 2015-2016, with the overall market reaching 1.466 billion users by 2016, representing 70% of the total number of global mobile broadband (including 3G+4G) users. Driving that growth is the Asia-Pacific region, especially China, and the region will surpass North America to become the world's largest consumer LTE market in the first half of 2015.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

2014 global LTE/TD-LTE market review

  • Status of global LTE/TD-LTE market
    • China Mobile stimulates 4G user growth in 2H14
    • Number of LTE devices double
    • Steady growth in number of global commercial LTE networks
    • Chart 1: Global LTE user and device breakdown, 2012-2016
    • Ten largest LTE operators control 78% of consumer market
    • Consumer 4G LTE market tilting toward Asia-Pacific region
    • Chart 2: Asia-Pacific region to become largest consumer LTE market in 1H15
  • Global LTE/TD-LTE industry trends
    • TD-LTE Advanced reaches commercial scale in 2016
    • Operator business strategies
    • Chart 3: TD-LTE-Advanced lagging FD-LTE by more than three years in development cycle
    • LTE networks accelerate data traffic but 4G profit models still not clear
    • Chart 4: South Korea LTE user trends, 4Q11-2Q14
    • VoLTE has not lived up to expectations
    • More time needed to see if LTE broadcast will be profitable
    • Chart 5: Slow value-added LTE service development means lackluster revenue growth for operators
    • TD-LTE lacks spectrum resources of 900MHz and below
    • Chart 6: Lack of low-frequency spectrum resources could become developmental disadvantage for TD-LTE
    • Developing improved services through depth of coverage
    • Indoor coverage drives domestic networking and communications industry
    • Chart 7: 4th and 5th phases of China Mobile's LTE network development to focus on rural and depth of coverage

Rise of China Mobile

  • China Mobile's emerging 4G LTE business
    • China Mobile sees soaring growth of 4G subscribership
    • 3G subscribers speed up switch to 4G
    • 4G network boosts growth of mobile network users in China
    • Chart 8: China mobile handset subscriber data, 2009-2015 (m users)
    • Adjustment in 4G network subscription pricing schedules
    • Booming number of 4G mobile devices
    • Chart 9: China Mobile strategies to accelerate a 4G switch, 2014
  • Influence on global LTE/TD-LTE industry
    • China Mobile shifts global TD-LTE subscriber market focus to Asia Pacific
    • Share of TD-LTE users soaring
    • Speeding up increase of availability of TD-LTE end device models
    • Chart 10: Dramatic growth of TD-LTE user share in 2014
    • Imbalanced distribution of global TD-LTE market
    • 98% of TD-LTE subscribers concentrated in Asia Pacific
    • Chart 11: TD-LTE subscribers and regional distribution, 2012-2016
  • Influence on mobile telecom market in China
    • Government policy driving TD-LTE market
    • Chart 12: China Mobile turns tables on competitors
    • Duplex networks are not mixed networks
    • Lack of low frequencies affect network coverage
    • Chart 13: MIIT issued permits for FD/TD-LTE duplex networks in two stages in 2014
  • Influence on Taiwan telecom network market
    • Smartphones as a major force driving TD-LTE market
    • China trying to boost 4G subscribership with low-cost 4G smartphones
    • Data devices have an unclear business model
    • Chart 14: TD-LTE end device models and device-type share, 3Q12-3Q14
    • Chart 15: Taiwan makers' LTE products, output value, 2011-2014

Outlook of major China LTE operators in 2015

  • China Mobile
    • High growth of mobile data but revenues and profits fall short of expectations
    • Chart 16: China Mobile revenues, 2011-2014 (CNYb)
    • Chart 17: China Mobile EBITDA and margin, 1H11-1H14 (CNYb)
  • China Mobile looks to smallcell and WLAN
    • Outdoor base stations extend coverage indoors
    • Distributed antenna systems (DAS)
    • Smallcell base stations
    • Relay solutions
    • CPE/Wi-Fi introduction solutions
    • Table 1: Operator level 4G LTE indoor network coverage solutions
    • All LTE network stage with Nanocell+LTE Hi
    • Chart 18: China Mobile nanocell development roadmap
    • Technology and industry chain cultivation stage (-2012)
    • Field IOT and preparation for commercialization (2013-2015)
    • Chart 19: China Mobile's Nanocell commercialization
  • Qualcomm and MediaTek
    • 4G LTE baseband chips entering generation 2.0
    • Qualcomm speeds up integration of mobile service solutions
    • HiSilicon targets high-end market
    • Three Musketeers: MediaTek, Marvell, and Intel drawing their swords
    • Table 2: Major baseband chip maker comparison, 2Q14
    • High-end smartphones going downhill
    • Anti-trust investigations worldwide
    • LTE technology advantages narrowing
    • LTE as standard spec heats up market competition
    • China remains Qualcomm's overseas focus in 2015
    • LTE application services as product differentiating features
    • Chart 20: Competition between Qualcomm and MediaTek will escalate in 2015
  • Huawei
    • Huawei seeks to have a bigger say in setting international standard in 2015
    • Market leaders
    • Innovative service providers
    • Challenger
    • Niche markets
    • Chart 21: Competition among LTE equipment suppliers in 2014
    • Rise in corporate competitive strengths (2009-2011)
    • Boosting international influence (2012-2013)
    • Trying to take on a leading role in international standard settings (2014-)
    • Chart 22: Worldwide LTE equipment vendor market share, 2011-2014
    • Chart 23: Huawei's three stages of strategic goals, 1H10-2H14
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