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  5. Global LTE Connections Approach 2 Billion at Year-End 2016

Global LTE Connections Approach 2 Billion at Year-End 2016

Escrito por Redacción TNI el 21/03/2017 a las 19:00:29

5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, today announced that LTE continued its impressive momentum in North America, Latin America and throughout the world according to data from Ovum for the fourth quarter of 2016. As of the end of 2016, global LTE connections reached 1.9 billion and surpassed 2 billion connections by February of 2017. The North America region achieved nearly 300 million LTE subscriptions by the end of 2016 with some of the highest penetration rates, most extensive coverage and largest market share for LTE in the world.



Worldwide, LTE is forecast to continue its momentum reaching 3 billion connections in 2018, 4 billion connections in 2020 (Ovum) and 5 billion connections in 2022 (5G Americas).



“At the recent Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, 5G continued to show incredible progress and great promise in all areas. Yet, at the same time, the evolution of LTE toward LTE-Advanced Pro is being welcomed by mobile wireless customers throughout the world as evidenced by the tremendous growth of LTE customers,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas.



4Q 2016 - North America



LTE achieved 298 million connections and a penetration rate of 83 percent compared to the population of 360 million in North America. This penetration rate compares to the next highest regions of Western Europe at 47 percent penetration and Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia with 46 percent penetration. In North America, LTE penetration is expected to pass 100 percent in 2018.



In addition to having a significantly higher penetration rate, the U.S. and Canada also have the highest market share for LTE in comparison to all mobile wireless technologies with 65 percent versus Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 41 percent and 35 percent in Western Europe. Market share represents the percentage of mobile wireless connections that are LTE technology versus all other mobile technologies.


  • 298 million LTE connections for net gain of 61 million new LTE customers from 4Q 2015 to 4Q 2016
  • LTE is forecast to reach 452 million connections at the end of 2021 (including M2M)
  • 11 million 5G connections forecast in 2021 – nearly 44 percent of all global 5G connections


4Q 2016 - Latin America and the Caribbean



Jose Otero, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas, summarized trends in the region, “2016 was a challenging year for the Latin American economies, which translated into a decrease of mobile wireless lines in several countries as people sought ways to decrease their spending. But even under these difficult conditions, LTE continued to be the fastest growing mobile technology to have ever been deployed in Latin America with several countries showing double digit growth and new operators launching commercial LTE services.” Otero continued, “In addition, during this year we saw LTE-Advanced strengthen its position in the region with network launches in British Virgin Islands, Brazil, and Peru as well as numerous trials throughout the region.”



LTE’s market share increased from 7.7 to 17 percent year-over-year at the end of 2016, thus more than doubling in the region. LTE rose significantly at 21 percent in one quarter alone (3Q 2016 to 4Q 2016) showing tremendous growth in three months.


  • 699 million total mobile wireless subscriptions
  • 119 million LTE connections; 65 million added year-over-year from 4Q 2015
  • LTE is forecast to reach 171 million connections at the end of 2017 (forecast includes M2M) and a 24 percent share of market
  • By the end of 2021, LTE is forecast to reach 449 million connections (forecast includes M2M) 


4Q 2016 - Global 



“Worldwide, LTE subscriptions grew 74 percent from year end 2015 to year end-2016. By contrast, in the mature North America region, where LTE was an early leader, LTE subscriptions grew by a much smaller 26 percent as the market is more mature and LTE penetration higher,” explained Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst at Ovum.


  • 1.9 Billion LTE connections out of a total of 7.6 billion total cellular connections worldwide
  • 818 million new LTE subscriptions year-over-year from 4Q 2015; 74 percent growth
  • LTE connections forecast to reach 4.7 billion by year-end 2021 (forecast includes M2M)
  • LTE global market share forecast to reach 53 percent by year end 2021 


Kristin Paulin further explained Ovum’s LTE data forecasts, which previously did not include M2M, “Ovum has recently aligned its forecast methodology with its treatment of historical data, which is to track total subscriptions including M2M.”



For more information and to view a variety of statistical charts on the 3GPP family of technologies, visit Subscriber and forecast data is provided by Ovum.