Global deployments of 4G wireless networks will peak between 2012 and 2014, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

This is a “realistic timeframe when an equipment and device ecosystem based upon an IMT-Advanced definition of 4G seems likely,” said Stephane Teral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure for Infonetics. The report, based on interviews with service providers from different world regions, also found that more than half of service providers plan to offer voice service over 4G one year after commercial launch, with IMS technology being identified as the most popular voice path.

Eighty-two percent of respondents planned to follow the W-CDMA to LTE deployment scenario and, of those, 53% plan to deploy HSPA+ before LTE–a strategy we’re already seeing carriers like AT&T choosing.

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Infonetics believes service providers are getting more ambitious about the data rates their 4G networks will support. Half of service providers believe their 4G downlink speed will be between 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps at service launch, while 42% believe downlink speeds will be in excess of 50 Mbps, according to the report.

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