Predictions are that by end of 2016, more than 80% of smartphones sold will be capable of working on Australia's 4G networks.
Research firm Telsyte is predicting a rapid shift from 3G to 4G (also known as LTE, or Long Term Evolution) in Australia.
The company believes almost half of all mobile connections will be 4G by 2016.
According to Telsyte's figures, there are currently around one million 4G mobile services in Australia, but that is set to grow to 17 million by the middle of 2016, a faster rate than previously predicted.
The reasons include the availability of new 4G handsets and tablets including the iPhone 5 and devices from other major suppliers including HTC and Samsung, strong carrier deployment of 4G services, and the use of mobile broadband as an alternative to fixed-line services.
"More than 20 LTE-enabled devices will be available through carriers by the end of this year," said Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi.
The company predicts that by end of 2016, more than 80% of smartphones sold will be capable of working on Australia's 4G networks. If you bought a 4G-capable phone, wouldn't you want to use it on a 4G network?
Demand for 4G is being driven largely by the higher data speeds. While that means less time waiting for web pages to appear on the screen and faster downloads of bulky files, it also makes for a better experience when using VoIP or video calling applications, for example.
"Some applications require a fast and stable data connection to provide users a more complete experience," said Telsyte analyst Alvin Lee. "With typical LTE speeds of 40Mbps, a lot of opportunities will be created for data hungry applications like streaming media services, turn-by-turn navigation and video applications."
Such navigation services provide a 'free' (other than the cost of transferring the data) alternative to the relatively pricy navigation apps that store their maps on the phone or tablet.