LTE, the next-generation mobile broadband standard, is the clear choice for the next leap in wireless technology, reports In-Stat. The analysts claim that while WiMax appeared to be a competitor for 4G early on, that battle is now largely resolved.

In-Stat predicts that LTE’s deployment will primarily be impeded by the success of 3G networks and HSPA and HSPA+ networks as mobile operators seek to leverage their installed infrastructure.

LTE still has several glaring issues. These include lack of spectrum, signal-to-noise ratio, and non-established patent and royalty pool. “It’s clear that the shift toward 4G LTE will be gradual and protracted,” says In-Stat.

While LTE will ultimately become the 4G standard of choice, Mobile Wi-Max is much more mature in deployment and has a distinct niche. According to the research group, even by 2013, Mobile Wi-Max will have more than 5 times as many global subscribers as LTE.

LTE deployments will effectively begin in 2010. North America and Asia/Pacific will be the first regions to deploy.

In-Stat also believes that external clients, such as dongles, network cards, and USB dongles will be the first LTE subscriber devices sold. LTE mobile handsets will not start shipping in major volumes until 2H12.

“WiMAX deployments have given chipset manufacturers, device manufacturers, and infrastructure suppliers real-world experience,” state the analysts.

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