Worldwide, 4G LTE achieved an annual growth rate higher than 400 percent at the end of March 2013, ending the quarter with more than 90 million connections -- and that number grew by May 2013 to more than 100 million connections.
Today, there are 178 commercial LTE networks in 72 countries compared to about 74 commercial networks in 40 countries one year ago -- that's more than 100 newly launched LTE networks in 12 months.
"The Americas is at an exciting technology transition point right now," said Kristin Paulin, senior research analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
LTE has been extremely successful in the U.S. and Canada where subscriptions surpassed 49 million and the North American region represents 54 percent of all global LTE connections as of March 2013.
HSPA and LTE mobile broadband had strong accelerated growth worldwide with an annual addition of 348 million subscriptions, representing 87 percent of the 400 million new global 3GPP technology connections.
The key global statistics for the 1Q 2013 include:
- 6.5 billion mobile connections; 90 percent using 3GPP technologies.
- More than 400 million annual new 3GPP connections, including 348 million annual new mobile broadband HSPA and LTE connections (in the 12 months ending March 2013).
- 331 HSPA+ commercial networks in 130 countries today, including: 194 at 21 Mbps; 5 at 28 Mbps; 132 at 42 Mbps.
- 178 commercial LTE networks today; over 230 commercial LTE networks expected by the end of 2013.
- Over 300 total commitments to LTE deployment by network operators to date.
- Over 400 percent annual growth in LTE subscription.
- Global HSPA and LTE subscriptions surpassed 1.3 billion with 35 percent annual growth; 90.5 million LTE connections, more than 100 million in May 2013.
- By 2018, HSPA will consume 65 percent market share, or 4.3 billion of global mobile broadband subscriptions; LTE will hold 21 percent of the market share with 1.4 billion subscriptions.