There’ll be 1.3 billion 4G LTE subscribers worldwide by the end of 2018, according to a new forecast from Informa Telecoms & Media. That compares with just 188.6 million users at the end of this year.
The increase represents a compound annual growth rate of 44% over the five-year period, with the USA becoming the largest market for LTE throughout the forecast period.
A forecast from Strategy Analytics last May painted a similar picture, anticipating that 4G LTE connections would pass the billion subscriber mark in early 2017.
Paul Lambert, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said “LTE is providing operators with a new lease of life, and not just in terms of being able to offer an improved user experience, a chance to sharpen branding messages and an opportunity to differentiate themselves from rivals. Operators are also seeing changes in consumer behavior, and the initial signs are that LTE users are consuming more data than 3G customers: 28% of the operator respondents said they saw an increase in data usage of 11% or more when a subscriber migrates to 3G.”
“The most successful LTE operators have shown that not charging a premium for LTE is the key ingredient in ensuring LTE subscription take-up. Even if they price their LTE services on a par with 3G, LTE operators nonetheless have to position the new network in new ways to ensure they realize the maximum value from their investments in the LTE network.”
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