By the middle of 2016, 46 per cent of mobile devices sold will be running an Australian 4G connection, according to analyst firm Telsyte.

The actual number of devices will jump from the one million sold this year to more than 17 million in 2016.

The significant boost comes down to several reasons, including the availability of 4G handsets including the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S 4G and Galaxy Note 2.

The expanded rollout of both Optus and Telstra's 4G networks - with Vodafone coming online next year - will also help drive uptake.

By the end of 2016, Telsyte claims that 80 per cent of smartphones will be 4G enabled.

The digital dividend spectrum

One of the biggest elements of the 4G rollout in Australia is the auction of spectrum currently used for analogue television broadcasts. Who ends up with that chunk of 700MHz spectrum will likely have a stronger, more successful 4G network.

In some cases the availability of a strong 4G network will provide an alternative to fixed line solutions provided by the NBN, according to Telsyte's analysis.