This year, 300 million LTE enabled phones will ship, 30% of the entire amount of smartphones in transit this year. But LTE service will begin in some emerging markets next year, like China and India. In the former country alone, demand next year for phones with LTE connectivity is pegged at 30 million to 50 million units. Manufacturers like Samsung, LG and Sony are expected to build low to mid-range LTE phones to meet the demand.
In addition to China Mobile's LTE rollout, Qualcomm and MediaTek are providing reference chips to help Chinese manufacturers build entry-level and mid-range phones with TD-LTE connectivity specifically for the Chinese market. Those same models can support FDD LTE in Southeast Asia and Latin America.