2013: The Year of 4G?

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In 2012, the year in which PC shipments declined for the first time in more than a decade, much attention was given to the rising popularity of the smartphone. Now, with the year drawing to a close, 2013’s guiding trend has already been determined. Analysts at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch said in a 38-page report seen by Barron’s that the 4G cellular standard “long term evolution,” or LTE, will be the “the key investment theme for 2013” in the technology sector.

Key Investment Theme?

LTE was the essential technology to bring about the rise of mobile computing, stated the report.

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“In our view,” wrote Merrill’s analysts, “the advent of LTE will mark the beginning of a multi-year transition towards a new bandwidth-intensive economy. The increased adoption and use of mobile devices is causing significant growth in wireless traffic […] We see the adoption of LTE as an accelerator to the concept of true mobility. In just three short years since the introduction of the first iPad, tablets have become a $50bl market with a forecasted growth rate of 35% in 2011-2014.”

Many companies, particularly in the United States, are expected to benefit from the computing industry’s transition to mobility; the report’s authors point specifically to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), and F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV).

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