LTE subscriptions just short of 4 billion
19 March 2019, London – The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) confirms that there are almost 4 billion LTE subscriptions globally, representing 47% of all mobile subscriptions. LTE subscriber growth will continue at 4% CAGR until 2022, and will decline slowly thereafter as 5G subscriptions start to rise significantly. The latest data, provided to GSA by Ovum, reveals that there were 3.99 billion LTE subscriptions around the world at the end of December 2018, compared to 3.04 billion subscriptions a year earlier. Forecasts indicate that by the end of December 2022, LTE subscriptions will reach 5.96 billion.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region continues to be the engine of growth in LTE subscriptions, adding 651 million new LTE subscriptions in the twelve months to the end of Q4 2018, a 33% annual growth rate (slowing slightly from 29% year-on-year in 3Q 2018. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for two-thirds of all LTE subscriptions worldwide.
African LTE subscriptions grew at 70% over the year to end-4Q 2018, though from a low base; Latin American / Caribbean and European markets grew at 37% and 32% respectively year-on-year. The Middle Eastern and North American LTE markets grew at double-digit rates.
The total number of mobile customers worldwide grew by 3.2% during the year. W-CDMA subscriptions are 2.2 billion, and are forecast to overtake those of GSM during 2019. 5G subscriptions are forecast to grow rapidly from 2019 to 1.3 billion by the end of 2023.
Joe Barrett, President of GSA, said, “While the industry’s focus is very much on 5G, we can see that LTE continues to go from strength to strength and will do so for the next few years. Indeed, LTE will complement 5G for the foreseeable future.”
©2019 GSA and Ovum