Worldwide spending on next-generation mobile broadband networks is set to soar over the coming years, it has been reported.
Market intelligence firm iSuppli predicts internet service providers (ISPs) will invest £17.13 billion on the construction of 4G networks by 2014.
By comparison, just £921 was spent on fourth-generation mobile networks during 2010, emphasising the rapid growth expected in the sector.
Jagdish Rebello, Senior Director and Principal Analyst for IHS, said "tremendous growth" is expected in next-generation broadband technology spending.
However, he noted that ISPs will still be required to support multiple air interface technologies simultaneously, as the migration to 4G and long-term evolution will not happen overnight.
"In most cases, carriers will need to offer 2.5G, 3.5G and 4G technologies in order to support all customers," Mr Rebello stated.
Ofcom recently announces plans to auction off 4G spectrum to UK broadband providers and mobile network operators.