GSA, the Global mobile Suppliers Association, revealed there were 497 million LTE (Long Term Evolution) subscriptions worldwide by 31 December 2014. A total of 290 million LTE subscriptions were gained in the year, equivalent to 140% annual growth.
GSA said that LTE subscriptions are growing faster than any other mobile communications system technology, and by a substantial margin.
Referring to a newly-released data provided by market research firm Ovum Ltd, GSA calculated that LTE subscription net additions outpaced 3G/WCDMA-HSPA by 21% during the last 6 months of 2014, with LTE leading in both Q3 and Q4.
Alan Hadden, Vice President of Research, GSA said “LTE subscriptions grew by 115 million in Q4, over 36% higher than 3G/WCDMA-HSPA connections. GSM subscriptions fell by 78.5 million in the same period. We are confident that LTE growth will continue to lead all other mobile systems.”
The APAC (Asia Pacific) region increased its share of connections to 47% by end December 2014 compared to 40% in June 2014.
North America is the second largest LTE market with 33% of global LTE subscriptions, down from 42.3% in six months previously, while Europe increased its share in the same period from 14.3% to 16% by year end.
Joe Barrett, President of GSA, added: “LTE has quickly built a huge momentum across the world with a rapidly expanding footprint. LTE net subscription additions in Q4 2014 were 45% higher than in the previous quarter.”
GSA forecasts there will be at least 450 commercially launched LTE networks globally by end 2015, up from 364 that had entered service by the end of last year, with deployment of LTE-Advanced technologies as a major industry trend in all regions.