The number of LTE subscribers worldwide exceeded 1.29 billion as of the end of Q1 2016, according to GSA, the Global mobile Suppliers Association, and based on data from Ovum.
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%).”
- 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.
- Over 645 million LTE subscriptions worldwide were gained during the past year, representing 100% annual growth.
- The Asia region, with over 734 million LTE subscriptions, further grew its share of global LTE subscriptions quarter on quarter to reach 56.9%.
- 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%.
- 503 operators have commercially launched LTE systems in 167 countries, according to GSA data announced at the end of May 2016.
- 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.