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  5. Year-End 2015: Global LTE Connections Reach Beyond the Billion Mark

Year-End 2015: Global LTE Connections Reach Beyond the Billion Mark

Escrito por Redacción TNI el 15/03/2016 a las 14:02:54

5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G for the Americas, today announced mobile subscriber data for the end of year 2015 which included an industry milestone with LTE connections reaching over one billion worldwide according to data gathered by Ovum. North America greatly contributed to global LTE connections with 237 million of the 1.1 billion as of 4Q 2015.

North America

“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,” commented Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. “The rapid increase in 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 connections in North America are up to 237 million which covers more than half or 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. was nearly 65 percent based on the country’s population of about 362 million.


  • 69 commercial LTE networks deployed in U.S. and Canada
  • 237 million LTE connections as of December 2015 for net gain of 66 million new LTE customers in the last 12 months
  • 7 commercial LTE-Advanced networks
  • 94 million HSPA connections
  • 331 million combined HSPA and LTE mobile broadband connections; 76 percent market share


Latin America

“The world region that shined 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,” stated Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst at Ovum. “In 4Q 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 allowing service providers the ability to offer LTE services to their customers. For the first time, HSPA mobile broadband connections surpassed GSM; HSPA currently has 325 million connections and GSM has declined to 317 million.

“The incredible growth of wireless broadband technologies is a direct result of increased cooperation between the public and private sectors,” commented Jose Otero, 5G Americas Director of Latin America and the Caribbean. “Measures to harmonize infrastructure deployment, allocation of new spectrum for mobile services and the increase of backhaul connectivity in rural areas have resulted in incredible LTE growth rates in Argentina, Colombia and Peru.”


  • 75 commercial LTE networks in 30 countries; increased from 59 LTE networks in 22 countries 12 months ago
  • 54 million LTE connections as of December 2015; growth of 304 percent year-over-year
  • 325 million HSPA connections; 57 million added year-over-year
  • 1 LTE-Advanced network (Puerto Rico)


Global LTE & LTE-Advanced

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.


5G Americas maintains a current list of LTE and LTE-Advanced deployments in the Americas on its website.  For more information and to view a variety of statistical charts on the 3GPP family of technologies, visit Subscriber and forecast data is from Ovum.