5G Americas shared mobile subscriber data for the end of year 2015, which included an industry milestone with LTE connections reaching over one billion worldwide. North America greatly contributed to global LTE connections with 237 million of the 1.1 billion, as of the fourth quarter (4Q) 2015.
North America Market Update
"It is no surprise that LTE has become the standard mobile technology for the North America region and continues to flourish as more consumers are adopting the technology year after year," said Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas.
The rapid increase in 4G LTE connections, not only in North America but worldwide, is leading the industry on the right track to the commercial standardized deployment of 5G in 2020 and beyond.
LTE in North America covers 54 percent of all mobile connections in the region. This data compares to the next leading world regional markets of Western Europe and Oceania & Asia Pacific both with 24 percent market share for LTE. Penetration of LTE in the U.S. market was nearly 65 percent, based on the country’s population of about 362 million.
Latin America Market Update
The world region that progressed the most by year-end 2015 was Latin America, with LTE connections growing by 304 percent from 2014 to 2015, making it the second highest growth rate after Central & Southern Asia.
In 4Q 2015 alone, Latin America had the strongest LTE growth at 39 percent after 15 million net additions in the quarter. Brazil was by far the largest contributor to LTE growth in the region with more than 7 million net additions -- that’s almost half of the entire region's total LTE net additions in 4Q 2015.
Latin America’s growth in LTE connections nearly quadrupled from 13 million LTE connections at year-end 2014 to 54 million at year-end 2015. This boost may be credited to the various spectrum auctions that have occurred throughout the region. For the first time, HSPA mobile broadband connections surpassed GSM -- HSPA currently has 325 million connections, and GSM has declined to 317 million.
Global LTE Market Update
From year-end 2014 to 2015, Oceania & Asia Pacific added 343 million LTE connections, North America added 66 million and Western Europe added 64 million. Global LTE connections totaled a little over one billion with an annual growth of 107 percent.
LTE is currently deployed on 480 networks in 157 countries. LTE-Advanced is also gaining momentum globally; currently 117 networks in 57 countries have deployed the technology, more than doubling from 54 networks in 35 countries at year-end 2014.