Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

4G LTE Connections have Reached 200 Million Worldwide

Mobile internet adoption and increasing subscriber usage is driving telecom wireless network infrastructure investment. 4G Americas announced that Long Term Evolution (LTE) connections in North America passed the 100 million mark at the end of 2013 and represent half of all LTE connections worldwide.

In North America and Latin America, 3GPP mobile broadband (LTE and HSPA) grew to 417 million connections in one year ending December 2013, and now represents over one third of all mobile connections in the Americas region, according to the latest market study by Informa Telecoms & Media.

"LTE subscribers passed 200 million worldwide in December 2013 and North America makes up just over half of this deployment," stated Kristin Paulin, senior research analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

LTE subscribers grew 151 percent year-over-year to end 2013 in North America and LTE is expected to grow at an even faster pace over the next five years within the region.

Western Hemisphere - All Americas – Year-End 2013

In the Americas region, 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions totaled 417 million, representing 38 percent of all mobile connections in the region with nearly 50 percent annual growth at year-end 2013.

2G GSM technology declined at an annual rate of 9.6 percent with 55 million fewer subscriptions due to the rapid migration to 3GPP mobile broadband.

  • 417 million HSPA-LTE subscriptions; annual addition (12 months) of 135 million subscriptions for 48 percent annual growth.
  • 314 million HSPA mobile broadband subscriptions representing one third of 3GPP subscriptions.
  • 933 million 3GPP subscriptions; 85 percent mobile technology market share.

North America - U.S. and Canada – Year-End 2013

Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas, highlights the success of LTE in North America by stating, "In the U.S. and Canada, LTE forges ahead with 26 percent market share at the end of 2013 on 46 commercial networks to date."

As LTE is becoming a massively widespread next generation technology, encompassing a wide variety of networks, mobile network operators are starting to make the shift towards LTE-Advanced to further increase data speeds, network efficiency and improve connectivity.

It is expected that the four national service providers in the U.S. market -- AT&T, T-Mobile USA, Sprint and Verizon -- will all deploy LTE-Advanced in 2014.

AT&T has deployed LTE-Advanced with Carrier Aggregation in the Chicago market already, though without a commercial announcement and with several other cities on stream, becoming the first such deployment of LTE carrier aggregation in the U.S. market.