Huawei forecasts £2bn in 4G equipment revenue this year

Chinese tech firm Huawei expects to make over $2 billion (£1.25 billion) in revenue this year selling 4G equipment, a group of the firm's senior executives have said.

The rise in revenue will come from mobile networks across the world using Huawei's equipment to boost LTE coverage, the execs said in a press conference. Huawei is the world's second largest telecoms equipment maker behind Ericsson.

The execs added however that until the price of smartphones falls, the superfast mobile internet technology will not enter the global mainstream.

"The price of LTE smartphones is still higher that those without LTE technology. This is normal," said Peter Zhou, executive vice president of Huawei's LTE division.

"We foresee that around 2015, a multi-mode smartphone, which includes LTE, will be very similar or equal to the price of a [non-4G] smartphone. So by that time, the portion of LTE smartphones will be much bigger."

Globally there are currently around 100 million 4G LTE subscribers, accounting for a very small percentage of total mobile users. Zhou believes that 4G subscribers will hit 1 billion in 2016, accounting for over half of the total mobile users.

Combined, Huawei and Ericsson currently share 74 per cent of the world's LTE contracts, whilst over half of China Mobile's initial 4G contracts have gone to Huawei and ZTE Corp, the execs also revealed.

Spurred on by 4G LTE expansions in markets including Germany, China and Japan, spending on infrastructure for the superfast network will almost triple to $24.3 billion (£15.14 billion) this year, up from $8.7 billion (£5.4 billion) in 2012, according to IHS iSuppli researchers.