The GSMA is the latest organisation to predict that 4G LTE connections will pass the one billion mark in 2017. A new study by GSMA Intelligence shows that LTE is expected to account for about one in eight of all mobile connections worldwide at that point, up from 176 million LTE connections at the end of this year.
By 2017, it’s predicted that 465 LTE networks will be in service across 128 countries, around double the number of LTE networks today.
Last week Informa Telecoms and Media published a report that forecast 1.3 billion 4G LTE subscribers worldwide by the end of 2018, up from 188.6 million users at the end of this year. A forecast from Strategy Analytics last May painted a similar picture.
Hyunmi Yang, Chief Strategy Officer at the GSMA, said “Our new report highlights a number of factors that are driving LTE growth: the timely allocation of suitable spectrum to mobile operators; the availability of affordable LTE devices; and the implementation of innovative tariffs that encourage adoption of high-speed data services. Mobile operators in both developed and developing markets are seeing LTE services contributing to a significant increase in ARPU.”
At the moment it’s thought that around 20% of the world’s population is within range of a 4G LTE network. This is expected to reach 50% by 2017. Already more than 90% of the US population is covered by 4G, compared with 47% of Europe’s population and 10% of the population in Asia.
The report also shows that LTE users in developed markets consume 1.5GB of data per month on average, which is almost twice as much as non-LTE users.
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