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Only 3.6% of devices to be 4G-compatible in five years

Even as 4G networks have launched in the US and Scandinavia, analyst In-Stat has predicted that by 2014 only 3.6% of mobile devices with baseband connectivity will be using 4G standards.

4G services, that offer data bandwidth capable of supporting high quality mobile video experiences, have already begun with TeliaSonera unveiling an LTE service in Scandinavia earlier this year and Sprint launching WiMAX based packages based on new HTC phones throughout the US. Despite the early lead of WiMAX, In-Stat argues, LTE will likely account for 61.2% of 4G-enabled mobile devices in 2014.

Even though in its new report, "New Baseband Solutions Fuel Mobile Broadband Devices" the telecoms analyst recognises that the transition to 4G communication standards has begun, it does expects that the transition from 3G will be slow. It argues that a clear indication of he sluggish pace is that fact that existing 3G networks are being stressed by data traffic that is increasing at exponential levels.

Furthermore In-Stat believes that smartphones and computing devices will be the only devices to transition to 4G technologies over the next five years with feature-phones and mobile CE devices remaining 2G/3G-based because of lower performance, cost, and power requirements.

"Computing and mobile consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers are integrating baseband modems into their devices at a feverish pace over the next few years," explained Jim McGregor, In-Stat analyst. "Unfortunately, the transition to 4G wireless technologies is not going to keep pace as adoption is challenged by multiple wireless standards, limited spectrum availability, constricting business models, and other market and industry issues."

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