4G Americas reports substantial gains for LTE in North AmericaEscrito por Redacción TNI el 31/03/2015 a las 14:08:01
4G Americas, a wireless trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, announced that LTE reached a new milestone with nearly half a billion connections worldwide at the end of 2014 according to data gathered by Ovum. North America contributed significantly to global LTE connections with 33 percent or 164 million of the total 498 million LTE connections worldwide, although in mid-year the Asia Pacific region surpassed the U.S. and Canada in the top spot in terms of total LTE connections.
“North America is still considered the global LTE leader. In terms of market share, penetration and coverage, the U.S. leads the world and remains at the head of the class in technology and spectrum innovation,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. “As expected, Asia Pacific has added a large amount of LTE connections over the past six months, passing North America for the first time.”
Another mobile broadband metric in the North American market includes 75 percent penetration of smart phones (Chetan Sharma, March 2015). Leading U.S. carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, are looking toward LTE-Advanced to meet the growing demand for advanced data services. By 2020, nearly 60 percent of all LTE subscriptions will be on LTE-Advanced networks according to Ovum.
Latin America has seen a substantial increase in LTE deployments and subscribers with an impressive 488 percent annual growth from 2 million LTE connections at year-end 2013 to 12 million at year-end 2014. This may be largely attributed to the spectrum auctions that have occurred throughout the region allowing service providers the ability to offer LTE services to their customers beginning primarily in the densely populated urban cities. GSM still hovers above both LTE and HSPA with a total of 436 million subscribers in the region; however, it continues to decline year-over-year.
Jose Otero, 4G Americas Director of Latin America and the Caribbean, provided examples of how spectrum allocation jump starts mobile broadband advancement. He noted that, “Allocation of spectrum in Argentina and Venezuela catalyzed the deployment of three new LTE networks in these markets. There are several spectrum auctions already announced for this year and we expect at least ten new LTE commercial networks during 2015. In addition, we might see LTE-Advanced expanding to new markets as operators strive to position themselves as innovators.”
LTE is currently deployed on 367 networks in 121 countries. LTE-Advanced is also gaining speed globally; currently 54 networks in 35 countries have deployed the technology.
“We are thrilled to see the rapid rise of LTE and LTE-Advanced not only in the Americas, but throughout the world,” added Pearson. “As key stakeholders in the industry continue to drive the advancement of LTE well into the next decade, we are eager to see how LTE innovation will possibly play a key role in providing the mobile broadband foundation for 5G technology in the future.”