LTE ‘most widely used’ cellular technology worldwide at end of 2017 with North American market share at 74%
In the fourth quarter of 2017, LTE technology became the most widely used wireless cellular technology worldwide achieving more than 35% market share and providing 4G wireless access to services and applications to a large portion of the world’s population.
5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, today announced LTE’s impressive momentum for the fourth quarter of 2017 in North America, Latin America and throughout the world according to data from Ovum.
North America’s market share for LTE at 74% exceeds all other world regions; the next highest world regions are Oceania, Eastern and South Eastern Asia with LTE share of 56% followed by Western Europe at 44%. Latin America and the Caribbean had significant growth of LTE market share to 29% at the end of 2017.
“LTE is the standard-bearer for the mobile wireless industry, continuing to grow not only in terms of the number of connections worldwide, and the more-than 500 commercial networks, but its evolution from the early networks first launched in 2009 to the LTE-Advanced Pro networks that will provide the foundation for 5G in the next few years,” stated Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas. “LTE will continue to grow until 2022, when we will begin to see some substantial uptake in 5G connections.”
LTE is currently deployed on 585 networks worldwide of which 233 are LTE-Advanced (TeleGeography-GlobalComms Database). The global deployment success of LTE provides the basis for coverage, roaming and the billions of LTE subscriptions worldwide.
4Q 2017 – North America
LTE achieved 353 million connections and a penetration rate of 97% compared to the population of 363 million in the U.S and Canada. LTE penetration is forecast to pass 100% in 2018. There will be no other region worldwide that is predicted to reach 100% penetration for LTE prior to the end of 2019.
This penetration rate is forecast to rise to 132% in 2021 after which time new 5G connections will begin to impact LTE subscriptions and penetration rates. At the end of 2017, the next highest world regions were: Oceania, Eastern and South Eastern Asia at 64%; Western Europe at 60%; and Middle East at 35%.
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 74%. Market share represents the percentage of mobile wireless connections that are LTE technology versus all other mobile technologies.
- 353 million LTE connections at 4Q 2017; increase of 48 million annually or 16% growth
- LTE is forecast to reach 491 million connections at the end of 2021 (including M2M) prior to a decline in connections
- 31 million 5G connections forecast in 2021 – the largest share of 5G connections in all the global regions
4Q 2017 – Latin America and the Caribbean
Jose Otero, director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas, summarised trends in the region, “Mobile broadband connections continue growing in Latin America at a rapid pace due to the demand for faster connection speeds in the region. Hence, the region ended 2017 with 18 LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks and expectations for its first LTE-A Pro network during early 2018.
Governments are also trying to accelerate the adoption of mobile broadband services by allocating more licensed spectrum to operators. It is expected that during 2018, all Latin American countries with the exception of Cuba will have at least one LTE-A network. 5G Americas expects Latin America to be very active with 5G trials during 2018.”
LTE’s market share increased from 17 to 29% year-over-year as of year-end 2017 and is forecast to be the most widely used cellular technology in the region by the end of 2019.
- 690 million total mobile wireless subscriptions
- 201 million LTE connections; 81 million added year-over-year from 4Q 2016 for 67% growth
- LTE is forecast to reach 258 million connections at the end of 2018 (forecast includes M2M)
- LTE will become the most popular cellular technology in 2019
- By the end of 2022, LTE is forecast to reach half a billion connections (forecast includes M2M)
4Q 2017 – Global
At the end of 2017, global LTE connections reached 2.8 billion and are forecast to surpass 3 billion LTE connections by the middle of 2018, achieve 4 billion connections in 2019 and pass 5 billion connections in 2021.
This growth is phenomenal, more than doubling from 1.5 billion LTE connections in June 2016 in two years to 3 billion in mid-2018. Also notable, LTE market share reached more than 35% at the end of 2017 and will continue its aggressive rise over the coming years.
“Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia plays a significant role, accounting for 41% of all LTE subscribers by 2022, compared to 32% of all cellular subscribers worldwide. And it’s interesting to note that, while LTE continues to see phenomenal growth over the next five years, 5G begins to make its inroads beginning by 2022, with some regions – particularly North America and Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia – starting to see some LTE subscriber declines as a result,” explained Kristin Paulin, senior analyst at Ovum.
- Global LTE growth 42% annually
- 833 million new LTE subscriptions year-over-year from 4Q 2016
- LTE connections forecast to reach 5.6 billion by year-end 2022 (forecast includes M2M)
- LTE global market share forecast to reach 60% by year end 2022