Customer enthusiasm for superfast 4G LTE mobile data services was a strong theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the global trade show for all things wireless held this week, in Barcelona, Spain.
UK operator EE reported that one quarter of its customers within range of its 4G LTE network have upgraded to a 4G plan. Australia’s Telstra said LTE demand is “exploding” and predicts that one in five Australian smartphone owners will buy a 4G device in the next 12 months.
Here in the U.S, Verizon Wireless Chief Technical Officer Nicola Palmer says 4G LTE data usage now accounts for more than 50 percent of all data traffic on the company’s nationwide network. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the world’s largest commercial 4G LTE network.
With the LTE standard spreading worldwide, Verizon Wireless made news in Barcelona by revealing plans to launch 4G LTE global roaming overseas in 2014 in several countries, including Canada. Roaming agreements with overseas operators will allow customers to enjoy the 4G LTE experience when they travel overseas and also will open the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network to travelers from other countries.
The take-away from the Mobile World Congress: 4G LTE will transform global communications in coming years as it has already in the U.S, with fast speeds and low latency to enhance the video streaming experience, as well as applications that make video content easy to find and reliable turn-by-turn directions; quick Internet access and file downloads, and innovative technologies that are driving new businesses.
In 2014, users can look forward to high definition-quality voice calling (known as Voice Over LTE, or VoLTE), popular TV programming broadcast directly to devices through LTE Broadcast and of course 4G LTE global roaming for customers in some of the busiest travel destinations around the world.