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4G LTE Subscriptions at 2.54 billion Globally as of September 2017

By the end of September 2017, global LTE subscriptions, according to Ovum data, stood at 2.54 billion compared to 1.70 billion a year earlier.

4g lte subscriptions

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) said that LTE subscriptions now account for 32.4% of all mobile subscriptions globally. Analysing the latest information, provided to GSA by Ovum, shows growth of nearly 838 million new LTE subscriptions in the year to September 2017 compared to nearly 776 million the year earlier. That equated to a 49.2% rise over the twelve-month period.

4G LTE is now the only major mobile technology that is growing rapidly, with the WCDMA (3G) market growth expected to be limited to around 4% per annum over the next five years.

The Asia region continues to lead LTE adoption with 61% market share after a very strong 57% growth rate year-on-year, despite the fact that other regions have also begun to rapidly adopt LTE, especially in Africa (LTE subscriptions growth 75% year-on-year); and Latin America & the Caribbean (80% YoY).

Other statistic by GSA, as of December 2017:

  • There are 647 LTE/LTE-Advanced commercially networks (GSA: NTS Database – October 2017)
  • There are 9,544 LTE user devices including frequency and operator variants from 570 suppliers verified in GSA’s database (GAMBoD). This is over 59% higher than the number of devices GSA reported in September 2016.
  • GSA has recorded 1,473 VoLTE-capable devices including carrier and frequency variants. Of these devices, 1,376 are phones, which means 21.2% of LTE phones announced support VoLTE
  • 92 Cat-9 devices are launched (450/50 Mbit/s)
  • 2 Cat-10 device is launched (450/100 Mbit/s)
  • 48 Cat-11 devices are launched (600/50 Mbit/s)
  • 62 Cat-12 devices launched (600/100 Mbit/s)
  • 37 Cat-13 devices are launched (390/150 Mbit/s)
  • 1 Cat-14 device is launched (3900/1500 Mbit/s)
  • 2 Cat-15 devices are launched (up to 750 Mbit/s DL)
  • 26 Cat-16 devices are launched (up to 1 Gbit/s DL)

LTE user devices in main spectrum bands (FDD and TDD):

GSA LTE FDD Devices

GSA LTE Devices TDD

Joe Barrett, President of GSA, said, “Over the past year LTE subscriptions have grown substantially and LTE is now on the verge of becoming the predominant global mobile technology. It overtook WCDMA/HSPA in mid-2017, and given current rates of growth GSA predicts that the number of LTE subscriptions (including LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro) will exceed 3 billion next year. 2018 will also be the year that LTE overtakes GSM to become the most subscribed mobile technology worldwide.”

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy