As 2011 nears, a new, free report from the Yankee Group is offering 13 predictions on the significant developments that 4G is likely to drive in the new year. The general message here is: slow, then fast. As with 3G, deployments and consumer interest will arrive incrementally, but once the speed and power of 4G is understood -- Yankee Group expects 4G to lay a foundation for the "fundamental reshaping of the telecom industry and commerce as a whole" -- reaction will be swift.
For the purpose of the report, LTE (long-term evolution), WiMax and HSPA+ are regarded as 4G technologies.
Topping the firm's predictions list is that "4G will be a drop in the ocean." Translation: Most Americans still won't really get it. By the end of 2011, says Yankee, only .04 percent of all mobile lines will be 4G, penetration will be .33 percent and consumer awareness of 4G will remain "stubbornly low."
"Until customers fully appreciate the link between a new wireless network technology and the superior user experience it delivers, their interest in upgrading will naturally be muted," states the report.