By: Kevin Fitchard | GigaOM.com
It took 12 years for 3G technologies to touch half of the world’s population, but getting to 85 percent coverage will only take another five, according to wireless infrastructure vendor Ericsson. New HSPA+ and LTE network deployments will lead to a near blanketing of the world’s populated areas with mobile broadband by 2017.
What’s more LTE networks are being deployed much faster than their 3G predecessors, said Patrik Cerwall, Ericsson director of strategic marketing. By 2017, LTE will cover 50 percent of the world’s population – a remarkable feat considering the first LTE systems went live only in 2010.