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Evolution from 4G LTE to 5G Wireless Network Gains Momentum

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Long-Term Evolution (LTE), popularly known as 4G LTE is gaining rapid momentum worldwide. According to the latest GSA report, at the end of Jun 2017, 782 wireless operators have invested in LTE across 200 countries. 4G wireless networks primarily aim to cope with the substantial rise in demand for high-speed wireless data services and mobile video.

Wireless network standards are continuously evolving around the globe to offer faster speed. Following significant deployment of 4G LTE networks, LTE-A (Long-Term Evolution Advanced) wireless networks are gradually finding solid foothold globally. LTE-A is a more powerful version of the legacy LTE network offering increased speed and network capacity.

The latest version of LTE-A network, which is popularly known as LTE-Advanced Pro (3GPP Release 13) will be a major step toward the smooth transition from 4G to the upcoming 5G network standard. The GSA report stated that there were 197 commercially launched LTE-A networks in 96 countries by the end of Jun 2017. The report forecasts the number to reach 652 networks by the year end.

Several industry researchers opine that the 5G network will provide a download speed of 1 Gbps (gigabit per second). This is 200 times the throughput of the currently available standard 4G LTE network. Latency period of data delivery will be in single milliseconds. Furthermore, the technology is designed to be more power efficient than any other standard wireless networks available these days. Naturally, 5G-enabled mobile devices are likely to last much longer than their 3G or 4G counterparts.


According to research firm ABI Research, 5G network deployment is expected to ramp up after 2020 and its market size may reach $247 billion worldwide by 2025. North America, Asia-Pacific, and Western Europe will be the first to deploy the network.

As per a report from the research firm iGR, U.S. telecom operators will spend around $104 billion during 2015-25 to upgrade their existing 4G networks to 5G standards and thereafter, execute full installation of 5G wireless services. Consequently, telecom infrastructure developers will have enormous opportunity for growth.

The GSA report added that at least 22 wireless operators have now made public commitments to deploy pre-standards 5G or standards-based 5G networks in 16 countries. In the U.S., all four national wireless operators, namely, Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, AT&T Inc. T, T-Mobile US Inc. TMUS and Sprint Corp. S are currently undergoing several field trials for 5G network standards.

While Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile US currently have a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), Sprint carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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