GSA confirms 1 in 8 mobile subs using LTE in Q3 2015, LTE subs total closes in on 1 billion worldwide
December 7, 2015: GSA, the Global mobile Suppliers Association, confirms that LTE subscriptions continue faster growth than any other mobile communications system technology.
LTE gained almost 152 million connections in Q3 which was 83% more than 3G/HSPA systems. The number of GSM subscriptions fell 117 million in the quarter. Analysing mobile subscriptions data provided to GSA by Ovum Ltd for Q3 2015, GSA noted that the number of LTE and LTE-Advanced subscriptions reached 908.5 million worldwide by 30 September 2015. The number of LTE subscriptions grew by 151.7 million in Q3 2015. Alan Hadden, Vice President of Research, GSA said: “LTE technology is now being used by 1 in 8 mobile subscriptions by end September 2015. The rate of LTE subscriptions growth has accelerated sharply. The first billion subs for LTE has probably now been reached.”
APAC further grew its share of global LTE subscriptions to 53.3%. North America remains the second largest LTE market with 219 million, though its share further declined to 24.1% of the global total compared with 29% only 6 months earlier. European share remained in the mid-teens (15.2%). The number of LTE subscriptions in Western Europe has now passed 115 million.
Strong growth was again seen in the Latin America and Caribbean region which now has 36 million 4G/LTE subscriptions and almost 28 million higher than a year ago, equivalent to 346% annual growth. A strong performance for LTE was again noted in the Middle East where more than 1 million LTE subscriptions were added monthly. The region has 25.7 million LTE subscriptions and an annual growth of 144%. Russia now has over 10 million LTE subscriptions representing 119% annual growth.
By September 2015 China had passed 302 million LTE subscriptions, 77 million in Q3 alone. 442 operators had commercially launched LTE systems in 147 countries, according to GSA data announced in mid-October 2015. GSA forecasts there will be 460 commercially launched LTE networks by end 2015.
LTE-Advanced deployments have taken hold in all markets around the world. Almost 1 in 3 operators are investing in LTE-Advanced system deployments, with the commercialisation of
carrier aggregation the first feature to be exploited. 97 operators, i.e. over 21% of all LTE operators, have commercially launched LTE-Advanced service in 48 countries. 14 LTE-Advanced networks support Category 4 devices (above 100 Mbps up to 150 Mbps peak downlink speed) while 78 networks support Category 6 devices (above 150 Mbps up to 300 Mbps), 4 networks supported Category 9 (above 300 Mbps up to 450 Mbps) and one Category 11 network (above 450 Mbps up to 600 Mbps) has also been commercially launched.
The number of LTE and LTE-Advanced subscriptions is expected to pass the 3G/WCDMAHSPA global total in 2020.
Charts confirming the LTE subscriptions growth and regional shares are available via the GSA website http://www.gsacom.com
GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) represents GSM/EDGE/WCDMA-HSPA/HSPA+, LTE/LTE-Advanced and future 5G suppliers. GSA brings together a global industry community of telecoms professionals through its website, reports, information papers and practical activities to inform, influence, educate, explain and promote the opportunities enabled by mobile broadband systems. The GSA website www.gsacom.com has over 70,500 registered users for knowledge gathering and information sharing of key facts, trends and analysis, and over 25,500 connections on our social network platforms LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Over 1 million GSA reports, presentations, information papers, maps, charts and other resources were downloaded from www.gsacom.com in under five years.