How will LTE / 4G affect app developers and publishers, and how will it affect their business models? – Question from Mobile Heroes’ Helen Keegan

In the latest post of our series answering questions from mobile influencers, here is our response to Mobile HeroesHelen Keegan. Helen provided us with a number of different questions this year, and you can read our answers to her M2M-related queries here.

Helen asked us how LTE / 4G will affect the average app developer, and whether this change will simply be a matter of increased speed for consumers. The advent of LTE will ultimately affect everyone in mobile and, whilst it will of course increase bandwidth and headline speeds, it will have further-reaching implications for both app developers and the rest of the mobile industry.

Crucially, LTE will open possibilities which until now were only available through fixed-line internet connections. One example of this is gaming. The increased bandwidth offered by LTE will allow developers to create richer gaming environments for their customers, along with the possibility of real-time interaction with other players through a mobile device. This in turn brings more opportunities for monetizing the applications they develop, which will be music to the ears of publishers.

This is but one service that LTE will encourage for app developers. It has to be said that there will be plenty more, especially around Mobile World Congress next week. New technology built into SIM cards means that security, a vital element of many services that LTE will encourage, will be boosted. Stay tuned to hear more about these services or take a sneak preview here.

Trends in mobile data have shown the consumer need for LTE and it is consumer demand which will ultimately drive adoption. Recent data from Allot has shown the exponential increase in mobile data usage which is making the move to LTE essential. For example, in the second half of 2011 alone, mobile broadband traffic grew by 83%. We also know from our own Netsize Guide that tablets are now responsible for around 20% of mobile data and, with shipments of these devices expected to increase exponentially during 2012, this will place further strain on existing 3G networks.

According to recent GSA figures there are 285 operators across 93 different countries already investing in LTE. The 4G (r)evolution is underway, and everyone in mobile, from app developers to publishers to providers, must prepare for it or risk being left behind.

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