Top 50 Innovative Companies of the 4G LTE Domain

From beating drums and lighting a fire for smoke signals to say a hello over a receiver, and then to the 2G, 3G eras, and from there to the current hot topics of communication – 4G and 5G – we humans have seen it all.

In the recent past, our data requirements in day-to-day tasks such as online gaming, internet usage, video streaming, etc., increased which demanded a separate dedicated data communication network. This led to the inception of 4G LTE, which is 10x faster than its predecessor 3G.

Today, you don’t give a second thought when you have to download a big fat file or have to watch a video on your smartphone. All thanks to 4G LTE, your smartphone does everything that your wired devices can do. As a result, numbers of 4G LTE users are increasing with every passing day.

We conducted a research to find out the most innovative and active companies in the field. As the quality of patents filed is a great indicator of innovation quotient of a company, we studied patents filed in the domain of LTE along with few patent specific parameters to arrive at a list of the most innovative companies of LTE.

Patent Classification of the 4G LTE Technology

We formulated a group of search logic and executed that on available patent databases to extract the relevant patents filed between 2011 and 2015. We restricted the patent set to recent filing dates as latest patent activities of a company represents areas where it channelizing its research and development efforts. This helps provide accurate results.

Patents pertinent to the LTE-based communication can be broadly classified into the following categories:-


After classifying the extracted patents, we calculated an individual patent quality score and further used that to innovation score of a company. The points we considered to calculate these scores are as follows:

Patent Quality Score: We can judge innovation quotient of a company from the number and quality of patents it owns. That said, we calculated the objective score of each patent by including various factors such as bibliographic details of the SEPs (standard essential patents), citations data, family members, grant time, etc.

A high patent score is indicative of a better quality. Thus, a company with a large number of high scoring patents is considered more innovative than the one with a small number of quality patents.

Company Innovation Score: Score of a company is evaluated by taking various factors such as the number of patents owned, average patent score, and the number of IPC subclasses being disclosed in the patent portfolio of the company.

The Algorithm That We Compiled

For determining the top innovators among hundreds or thousands of companies we had to first decide the strength of the patents in each company’s portfolio. With this objective in mind, after a substantial research over the parameters/factors responsible for the innovative strength of a company, we compiled an algorithm. The algorithm uses parameter listed below to obtain a rank of a patent which further helps in assigning a rank for a company.


Based on the algorithm, we identified the top 50 global innovators in LTE technology.


Click on the image to enlarge

Sometimes there is a curiosity to know if all the innovations get developed in-house or get acquired by purchasing patent portfolio of some other company. Surprisingly, we noticed that the top 10 companies, as much as they have performed the research in-house, have also bought a large number of patents from individual inventors or SMEs to stay ahead in this innovation war.

In the next article of this series, we have shared the other side of the coin i.e. the small companies and individual inventors that are innovating the world of 4G LTE. You can read the article here: Top NPEs of 4G LTE

 Authored By – Rohit Jaswal, Team Lead, Search Team and Gaurav Sahni, Senior Research Analyst, Search Team

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