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We are still in the early stages.
But make no mistake: Today, a revolution is underway. A revolution that will radically transform the capabilities of millions of wireless devices around the world.
I'm talking about 4G… the new standard in wireless technology.
You see, at this moment, this technology is getting fully ramped up. Once complete, its lightning speed and unmatched "connective" capabilities will open-up an entirely "new world order."
If you think this is just about your smartphone and iPad, you're thinking too small. Way too small.
Sure, these devices are essential to this new revolution. After all, they are the central pieces of a colossal wireless puzzle that has yet to be completed.
But what is happening – and what is about to happen – goes far beyond wireless devices that fit in your hand.
By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices in use worldwide.
That's not a typo. In fact, the estimate was made by Ericsson, one of the largest telecommunications companies on the planet. In the "connected" future, the possibilities are endless…
- The "connected" shoes of the elderly, or patients with health problems, could be monitored to make sure those folks are getting proper exercise.
- Connected vehicles can be remotely controlled to maximize fuel efficiency and to minimize traffic jams.
- You'll be able to use your phone to cool off your house via your connected air conditioner – as you drive home from work.
- A connected vending machine can signal when it needs to be replenished, saving the vendor from unnecessary visits.
- Your mobile device could be turned into a virtual wallet, or even a bank.
- And connected trees could signal a lumber mill, which monitors them to nurture a better crop, and a more-timely harvest.
Business, consumer electronics, healthcare, government … they'll all be affected in a huge way.
And 4G is the sweeping new technology making all this possible.
It's a major leap forward. A huge advance over the 3G technology currently available.
No wonder a mad race to be the world's leader in 4G is happening before your eyes. This race is being held by the biggest wireless carriers, like AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint Nextel to name a few.
They're investing billions upon billions to overhaul existing wireless networks, and convert them to 4G.
They have no choice; the pressure is on…
They understand that in the next decade there will be:
- 3 billion subscribers with the means to buy information on a round-the-clock basis -either for a lifestyle improvement, or for personal security. In "mature" markets, these subscribers will typically have between 5 and 10 connected devices each.
- 1.5 billion vehicles in existence worldwide, many of them connected. And that doesn't include buses or railroad trains.
- 3 billion utility meters (water, natural gas and electricity).
- And a cumulative 100 billion processors shipped – each capable of being connected.
All this represents a huge "money pool" that these carriers are scrambling to control. They're taking the ramp-up to 4G very seriously.
And so should you. The reason is simple…
There's a fortune to be made in this wireless revolution right now.
A global paradigm shift has been created… one that will give investors with vision innumerable investment opportunities.
And knowing who the winners and losers will be in this world of tomorrow is the stuff investors' dreams are made of.
So, let's take a look at the numbers… and a powerful profit play you can make right now – today.
The New Standard In Wireless: 4G LTE
4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) – is often called "4G Lite" by the techno-wizards.
Spending on 4G got started in 2007, and is quickly soaring.
From a worldwide expenditure of $8.7 billion this year, 4G LTE outlays by wireless carriers will spike to a projected $24.3 billion in 2013 and keep on rising, until they reach $36.1 billion in 2015, according to market intelligence firm IHS iSupply Research.
The Wall Street Journal reports that some of the country's biggest cellphone carriers – Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. – have spent billions of dollars rolling out these new networks, even though right now only a small percentage of their subscribers will actually use them.
Currently, Verizon's 4G network covers 230 million people but has gaps in rural and some suburban areas.
AT&T's network covers around 74 million people. Sprint is just getting started, with just 19 cities covered, and T-Mobile USA, the fourth largest U.S. carrier, has yet to roll out LTE coverage, according to the Wall Street Journal.
With a population of around 312 million, you can see why the race is fully in motion to get the country ramped up.
And it's not just here in the U.S.
According to the BBC, the UKs biggest wireless provides, Vodaphone, EE and O2, have been in a protracted battle to get government approval to add 4G capability to their networks.
In a contentious meeting, the operators finally agreed to settle their differences and get services up and running quickly.
The government said high-speed data services should launch by spring 2013, six months earlier than planned.
"Delivering 4G quickly is a key part of our economic growth strategy," said Culture Secretary Maria Miller to the BBC.
That just shows you how big this really is.
Of course, there's a reason carriers are making this mega-billion-dollar bet on 4G: They see it as the next big revenue driver for an industry that's always looking for that next big thing.
For one thing, it offers a vast improvement in speed.
You see, 4G requires less bandwidth to deliver data than 3G. That leaves more room for users to download videos, music, TV shows or even movies.
More room equates to faster download speeds.
And faster download speeds should, theoretically, accelerate data use – inducing customers to step into higher-sticker-priced service plans.
Perhaps even more important, is 4G's huge leap in data transfer rates. This is nearly 10 times faster than 3G. And that means huge improvements in the simultaneous use of multiple applications – voice, video, and other internet-related activities for starters. Ultimately, it's the fast transfer rates that will push wireless into unheard of applications.
What's more, according to Strategy Analytics, worldwide LTE phone shipments are expected to skyrocket by nearly tenfold this year to 67 million units. That figure doesn't include the millions of tablet (like the Apple iPAD2) being sold which are also 4G-capable.
All of this means that 4G technology is beginning its major ramp-up right now, the perfect time for investors to jump in.
For this profit play, we like an industry leader… a big company with big potential upside.
I'm talking about microchip producer, Qualcomm (Nasdaq:QCOM).
Given its market cap of $114 billion, Qualcomm is big all right. But you have to like the fact that it is capitalizing on a number of cutting-edge trends – in addition to the LTE chipset.
For instance, consider the company's code division multiple access (CDMA) technology — a channel-access capability that's central to radio-communication technologies. The technology is a global standard and is well-protected by Qualcomm's patents.
Better still: Qualcomm was the sole supplier of baseband chips for the Apple iPhone 4S. And thanks to its broad patent portfolio, Qualcomm collects royalties on 4G technology, even when it isn't providing the baseband chip itself.
But Qualcomm's management is also shrewdly playing the field – the company has hooked up with Nokia AG (NYSE ADR: NOK) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Both partnerships have given it a solid beachhead in both India and China.
This past spring in fact, Nokia and China Telecom Corp. Ltd. launched the Lumia 800C and Lumia 610C wireless phones in China. The Qualcomm-powered CDMA version of both smartphones will be available for purchase in Nokia stores and through other retailers in that Asian nation. Indeed, the 800C is Nokia's first CDMA phone that uses the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system.
And this is just a snapshot of everything Qualcomm is doing. Given what we've seen, however, it's no surprise the company continues to grow at a spirited clip. For the fiscal year, the company is looking at revenue of between $18.7 billion and $19.7 billion – which would be an increase of 25% to 32% from the year before.
The bottom line: With 4G technology truly catching fire beginning this year… Qualcomm has positioned itself nicely to really take off.
One more thing you should know about…
Building these 50 billion connected devices will require huge amounts of natural resources. Not just silver, copper and lithium. But also rare earth metals with names like dysprosium, yttrium and neodymium.
Yet the fact is, supply all of these crucial elements are dwindling to dangerous lows.
One group of economists, geo-political scientists and commodity experts believe this is a huge problem – one that is not unique to rare earth metals.
In fact, these experts say they have discovered a "frightening pattern" they believe points to a massive natural resource catastrophe unlike anything seen before.
The work of this team has garnered so much attention, they were brought in front of the United Nations, UK parliament and numerous Fortune 500 companies to share much of their findings.
They've recently released their findings to the public. To truly understand what is happening… and to protect your investments… take a look at their gripping video.