Ericsson: LTE will be pervasive in North America by 2019

The company's Mobility Report projects 85 percent of North American mobile subscriptions will be tied to an LTE network by 2019.

Hans Vestbeg, Ericsson CEO, at MWC 2012
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg shows off a connected bike at MWC 2012. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

If you don't have an LTE connection now, chances are you will by 2019. And so will nearly everyone else.

That's according to the latest Mobility Report from Ericsson, which found that 85 percent of all mobile subscriptions in North America will be tied to an LTE network by 2019. The region will end the year with roughly 20 percent of its accounts tied to LTE, with HSPA and CDMA still dominant.

While North America had previously been behind other regions when it came to cellular technology, it has taken the lead once again with LTE, and will head all regions in LTE deployment through 2019. Aside from Western Europe, which sees 55 percent of its connections tied to LTE, no other region will be able to boast LTE as the dominant network standard.

Of course, Ericsson has a vested interest in increased mobile adoption and, in particular, the move to LTE, since it makes the gear that powers these networks. But as one of the largest vendors out there, the company has a unique perspective on mobile adoption.

CNET earlier reported on Ericsson's Mobility Report, highlighting the higher share of smartphone sales and its projection of 9.3 billion mobile subscriptions in the period.

Smartphones aren't the only connected devices, and the carriers have been eagerly pushing things like connected cars, dog collars, ATM machines, and other nontraditional devices to be connected to a cellular network.

In the US, in particular, the LTE race has long been hotly contested, with Verizon Wireless out in front, and AT&T trailing behind -- but not too far behind. Sprint and T-Mobile, meanwhile, are going head to head, with T-Mobile just edging out Sprint in the number of markets and people served.

An LTE network has been a critical sales tool for carriers beyond just having the right handsets, with consumers increasingly seeking a faster connection for their smartphones and tablets.

About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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