9th June, 2016
GSA confirms global LTE subscriptions doubled in past year to reach 1.29 billion in Q1 2016
June 9, 2016: GSA, the Global mobile Suppliers Association, confirms that LTE continues to grow faster than any other mobile communications system technology.
LTE gained 182 million connections in Q1 2016, almost 4 times faster than 3G/HSPA systems. 3G/HSPA subscriptions grew by 48 million while GSM subscriptions fell by 120 million in the same quarter. The number of LTE and LTE-Advanced subscriptions is expected to pass the 3G/WCDMA-HSPA global total in 2020, and possibly sooner.
Analysing mobile subscriptions data provided to GSA by Ovum Ltd for Q1 2016, GSA revealed that the number of LTE and LTE-Advanced subscriptions reached 1.29 billion worldwide by 31 March 2016. Over 645 million LTE subscriptions worldwide were gained during the past year, representing 100% annual growth.
Alan Hadden, Vice President, GSA said: “LTE subscriptions were signed up during Q1 2016 at an average of 2 million per day and the rate is accelerating. LTE is now connecting over 1 in 6 mobile subscribers worldwide (17.4%).”
The Asia region, with over 734 million LTE subscriptions, further grew its share of global LTE subscriptions quarter on quarter to reach 56.8%. By March 2016 China had passed 511 million LTE subscriptions, adding 96.3 million in the quarter. North America remains the second largest LTE market with 253 million, though its share of the world market further declined 2.6% in the quarter to 19.6% of the global total. The European share of the global total is 14%.
Strong growth was recorded again in the Latin America and Caribbean region to reach 68.5 million 4G/LTE subscriptions. 11.1 million LTE subscriptions were added in the Middle East region in Q1 to reach 46.6 million. Russia has 16.7 million LTE subscriptions, Africa has 9 million LTE subscriptions, and India has almost 4 million.
Market shares summary:
Asia region 56.8%
North America 19.6%
Latin American and Caribbean 5.3%
503 operators have commercially launched LTE systems in 167 countries, according to GSA data announced at the end of May 2016. GSA forecasts there will be at least 550 commercially launched LTE networks by end 2016. The historic milestone of 500 commercially launched LTE networks was passed in May 2016 and reached in 77 months from first service launch, almost 5 years less than the time taken by 3G/WCDMA systems, and 6 months faster than HSPA systems.
More than 1 in 3 operators are investing in LTE-Advanced system deployments. Around 25% of LTE operators have commercially launched LTE-Advanced service including several LTE operators who are now introducing LTE-Advanced Pro technologies, sometimes referred to as 4.5G, which is established as a major industry trend in 2016. LTE-Advanced Pro systems can support peak downlink speeds up to 1 Gbps and beyond.
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 26,000 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.