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Global Statistics Representing LTE Chipset Market Scenario

Long Term Evolution (LTE) is the latest version of cellular technology termed as 'fourth-generation technology' or 4G. It is an enabling technology that helps telecom service providers offer high-speed connectivity to consumers with high-frequency bandwidth.

LTE was initially launched in the Release 8 of 3GPP standards to increase the spectral efficiency of existing 3G technologies. In Release 9, voice services were operated over LTE, popularly known as VoLTE, with a dedicated voice bearer and Quality of Services (QoS). However, advancements have paved the way for the development of the newer version on the lines of LTE; these include LTE Advanced (Release 10), LTE Advanced Pro (Release 13 and Release 14), and 5G (Pre-Release 15).

LTE Advanced was developed to augment data throughput and spectral efficiency with two major features, Carrier Aggregation (CA) techniques and higher-order of MIMO for a larger number of data streams. The LTE advanced Pro was developed to improve the data speed for Gigabit LTE class devices and enhance machine type communication (MTC) technologies.

For the purpose of estimation, we have segmented the LTE chipset market on the basis of two criteria, component and product technology. The segments are listed below.

  • By Component
    • Hardware
    • Discrete cellular modem
    • Mobile processor/platform
    • 3GPP IoT chipset
    • Software
    • Services
  • By Product Technology
    • LTE-Advanced
    • LTE-TD
    • LTE-FDD

LTE Chipset Market: Product Life Cycle

As per the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), the LTE chipset market is witnessing significant traction among network service providers and network equipment manufacturers, against a backdrop of increasing demand for highspeed network connectivity, low latency, and high-frequency bandwidth.

Internationally recognized telecom associations that standardize the low power, high performance, and connectivity for various applications, including smart grids, smart cities, and smart home automation, and device manufacturers endorse LTE chipsets. The advancement of network technologies such as Sig-fox, NB-IoT, and LTE-M chipset is expected to pave the way for the growth of the global LTE chipset market in the upcoming years.

Figure: Product Life Cycle of LTE Chipset — Growth Stage


Demand for High Quality of Service (QoS)

Rising internet penetration has seen consumers demanding high-speed mobile networks with low latency. Existing legacy networks are upgrading to high-performance networks to cater to the demand for applications such as video on demand, live streaming, and internet platforms. These applications require continuous connectivity, which compels network carriers to provide a high quality of services (QoS).

Advancements in M2M connections and LTE technologies offer high connectivity for applications. The rise in network traffic is translating to demand high-speed connectivity, as network congestion leads to low performance. LTE chipset products such as Qualcomm 9205 LTE modem are designed to support highly reliable and improved cellular connectivity for IoT applications such as smart meter solutions, smart city sensors, and fitness trackers.

Industry Collaborations for Advancements in IoT Connections

The LTE technology is an enabler of many innovations. With advancements in IoT applications, the demand for NB-IoT and narrowband LTE-M has increased significantly, particularly in developed economies such as the U.S., and Western European countries. Moreover, high-speed LTE chipsets are increasingly being used in high-speed vehicles, underground trains, and inflight connectivity, which is further augmenting demand. The market is witnessing a collaborative approach for solution deployment. Some instants that serve as cases in point are listed below.

  • Sequans Communications S.A collaborated with Thales, a leading provider of aerospace equipment and systems, to deploy an LTE chipset solution. The collaboration helps the latter to deploy the former’s technological solution to its LTE access devices for inflight connectivity, which acts as a part of the European Aviation Network (EAN) high-speed in-flight broadband access solution.
  • In March 2019, Lockheed Martin, one of the leading providers of aerospace, defense, and security solutions, partnered with Sequans Communications to build 4G LTE for satellite technologies. The partnership is helping the latter expand its product portfolio in satellite communications.
  • GCT Semiconductor launched the GDM7243i Hybrid LTE + Sigfox chip, which offers high-performance connectivity options for IoT applications.

The Emergence of 5G Connections

Industry experts estimate that 5G will be rolled out by 2020 end in South Korea, Central and Eastern Europe, and the U.S.. Also, this further is expected to increase the adoption of LTE chipsets that are currently working on 4G-LTE advanced pro is used in public safety, connected devices, and smaller-scale applications such as smart metering and smart wearables.

5G technology is paving the way for the development of LTE chipsets with ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (uRLLC) and massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) technologies that offer super-low latency and highly secured data transmission with a large number of connected devices, offering in-class outstanding network coverage and highly energy-efficient devices.

By End User

  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Mobile Hotspots
  • USB Dongles
  • Others

North America Dominates the Global LTE Chipset Market

North America dominates the LTE chipset market and is expected to remain the largest value shareholder throughout the forecast period, primarily led by the U.S., followed by China. The U.S. accounts for the largest value share in the regional market with robust wireless network infrastructure and strong demand for low-cost, high-performance LTE chipsets from IoT applications. Increasing demand for secure communication in industrial and mission-critical applications is the prime factor driving market growth in North America.

Asia-Pacific Slated to Register the Highest CAGR During the Forecast Period

Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region in the global LTE chipset market. The region is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. With the highest number of mobile subscribers in the world, Asia-Pacific, except Japan, has insufficient infrastructure for large-scale LTE applications. China dominates the Asia-Pacific market with a 41% value share.

Marvell Technology, Huawei Technology Co.Ltd, Renesas Electric Corporation, SAMSUNG, and other key vendors are introducing new chipsets for smart applications such as livestock monitoring, precision farming, smart building, and smart home automation. Emerging economies of Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, are partially untapped markets and require heavy investment in the field of IoT connectivity.

What’s Next?

LTE chipsets are anticipated to gain significant traction in the upcoming years. Key stakeholders, such as device manufacturers, network equipment vendors, and carrier service providers, are significantly investing in enhancing their existing networks. Companies are also significantly investing in providing three different LTE chipsets, namely discrete cellular modem, mobile processor/platform, and 3GPP IoT chipset. The advancements are evidenced by new product developments in LTE Modem chipsets, which include Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 and X24 modems, Intel’s XMM 7560 and 7660 modems, Hi-Silicon’s Balong 765, and Samsung Exynos 9 Series (9810 and 9820).

Fig.1: Chipsets That Supports eMBS and VolTE Specifications 


Fig.2: Chipsets that support 3GPP IoT Standards

Chipsets-That-Support-3GPP-IoT-StandardsLTE Chipset Market: Key Players

  • Qualcomm (The U.S.)
  • Huawei Technology Co. Ltd. (China)
  • Intel Corporation (The U.S.)
  • Altair Semiconductors (Sony Corporation) (Israel)
  • Innofidei (Japan)
  • Leadcore Technology Co. Ltd. (LEADCORE) (China)
  • MediaTek Inc. (Taiwan)
  • Renesas Electric Corporation (Japan)
  • Samsung (South Korea)
  • SEQUANS (France)
  • GCT Semiconductor, Inc. (The U.S.)
  • Nordic Semiconductor (Norway)

LTE Chipset Market: Recent Developments

  • In November 2019, Renesas Electric Corporation, a Japan-based supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, partnered with Altair Semiconductors, one of the leading providers of IoT chipsets, to develop ultra-small and ultra-low-power cellular IoT solutions. Additionally, the partnership allows both the companies to integrate their technical capabilities and develop a design for the miniaturized, low power multi-protocol cellular chip-to-cloud solution, which is used for Industrial IoT applications.
  • In October 2019, Sequans Communications, one of the prominent vendors operating in the LTE chipset market, launched the NB02S, a Monarch N chip, which is a first module based on its second-generation. The Monarch NB02S is developed to improve the low-cost/low-power NB-IoT operation. Additionally, the product is a highly integrated module with the EAL5+ Secure element (SE), which improves the standards for the operation of low-cost NB-IoT modules. It also includes an inbuilt SIM, which has a module as a SIM feature.
  • In June 2019, Altair Semiconductor launched the dual-mode CAT-M/NB-IoT chipset. The chipset is operated at 450 MHz, which offers connectivity for the various connected devices. Furthermore, the product is particularly used for various use cases that include location tracking, driver behavior monitoring, and connected tractors applications.
  • In July 2019, GCT Semiconductor collaborated with Adesto Technologies Corporation, one of the providers of application-specific semiconductors for IoT solutions, to implement the latter’s Adesto IP cores for development of its next-generation 4G LTE Modem. The collaboration further helps the former provide its low power high-performance LTE modem, which further helps it expand its customers base

LTE Chipset Market: Technology Landscape

LTE connections are in the growth stage, particularly in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Latin America and the Middle East are expected to witness gradual growth light of weak investments and interoperability challenges, except in the case of a few developed economies. Network carriers such as Etisalat, Du, and Telefonica are investing in expanding 3G/4G networks that help the LTE chipset network to grow significantly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Increasing demand for secure communication in industrial and mission-critical applications are the key factor expected to drive LTE Chipset Market during the forecast period.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share in LTE Chipset Market.
Qualcomm, Huawei Technology Co. Ltd., Intel Corporation, Altair Semiconductors, Innofidei, MediaTek Inc., Renesas Electric Corporation, Samsung, SEQUANS are the top players in LTE Chipset Market.
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