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1Q2014: LTE Approaching Quarter of a Billion Connections Worldwide

LTE Hits 30% Share of Cellular Market in North America

BELLEVUE, WA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/05/14 -- 4G Americas reports that LTE deployments, devices and connections have reached scale based upon data from the first quarter of 2014. To date, LTE is deployed on 294 networks in 106 countries; commercial LTE devices have scaled to more than 1,500 from 154 companies (GSA, March 2014); and LTE global connections reached 245 million at the end of March 2014 (Informa Telecoms & Media).

LTE connections in North America grew to 115 million subscriptions, representing 30 percent of the 387 million total mobile subscriptions in the region at the end of the first quarter of 2014; whereas, LTE represented 4 percent of all cellular connections worldwide. The North American market remains in the leadership position of LTE market share worldwide with 47% percent of the world's 245 million LTE connections at the end of March 2014.

"All the key success factors are contributing to LTE's expanded coverage, smartphone penetration and subscriber growth in North America," stated Vicki Livingston, Head of Communications at 4G Americas. "The factors in the success formula include LTE network evolution, planning and allocation of harmonized spectrum and coverage. These key ingredients coupled with regulatory innovation will allow the region to achieve more than twice the LTE penetration of any other region in the world for more than five years."

North America Statistics - Q1 2014
With smartphone penetration at 68 percent in the U.S. (Chetan Sharma, U.S. Wireless Market Update, 1Q 2014), LTE connections continue to ramp up, ending the quarter with 112 million LTE connections. U.S. and Canada added 14 million LTE connections in the first quarter and 62 million LTE connections year-over-year; LTE's market share was 30 percent and the combined market shares for LTE and HSPA mobile broadband in the North America region was 61 percent.

  • 47 commercial LTE networks deployed in U.S. and Canada
  • 123 million HSPA connections
  • Forecast 139 million LTE mobile connections at YE2014
  • LTE and HSPA mobile broadband represent 61 percent of all cellular connections in the region
  • By 2019, LTE will have 85 percent share of market in North America (Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2014)

Latin America & Caribbean Statistics - Q1 2014
In Latin America, LTE subscriptions grew 50 percent from 2 million to 3 million in the first quarter which exhibits the beginning of the trend of anticipated growth stimulated by the expansion of LTE networks and availability of LTE devices.

"Latin America realized tremendous growth of LTE in the first quarter of this year," stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "Brazil is leading the acquisition of LTE connections in the region, speared by the World Cup and Olympic events that have progressed the deployment of LTE network coverage. The demand for mobile broadband services across the region continues to positively affect the increase in LTE subscriptions."

In Latin America, smartphone penetration was at 20 percent by the end of 2013, fueling the uptake of mobile broadband (Market Research Reports, May 9, 2014). LTE subscriptions grew by 1 million subscribers in the first quarter, while HSPA and HSPA+ connections increased by 19 million in the same timeframe. The LTE and HSPA mobile broadband market share grew to 30 percent with 215 million of the total 717 million cellular connections in the region. It is forecast that LTE subscriptions will continue to experience an annual growth rate of nearly 100 percent for the next five years.

  • 39 commercial LTE networks in 18 countries to date
  • 3 million LTE connections / two thirds are in Brazil
  • 103 commercial HSPA+ networks in 42 countries to date
  • 212 million HSPA/HSPA+ connections; 18 million added 1Q14
  • Forecast nearly 731 million connections at the end of 2014

Global Statistics - Q1 2014
LTE's global market share was at 4 percent of all cellular connections. The world regions with the highest percentage of LTE market share ranked as follows in the first quarter: 1) North America, 47 percent; 2) Asia Pacific, 39 percent and; 3) Western Europe, 10 percent. North America continues to lead the world with the largest number of LTE subscribers at 115 million followed by Asia Pacific which achieved 95 million LTE connections at the end of March.

  • 294 commercial LTE networks today; 350 commercial LTE networks expected by end of 2014
  • Over 500 total commitments to LTE deployment by mobile operators to date
  • 104 million LTE connections in March 2013; 245 million as of March 2014, more than a doubling of connections in 12 months
  • LTE connections are forecast to surpass 2.3 billion by 2020

Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media commented, "The rapid adoption of LTE, with worldwide connections more than doubling year-over-year to 1Q 2014, has been driven by smartphones. It takes an efficient network like LTE to handle the increase in mobile data traffic from smartphones."

4G Americas maintains current lists of HSPA+ and LTE Global Deployments by region on its website. For more information and to view a variety of statistical charts on the 3GPP family of technologies, visit www.4gamericas.org. Subscriber and forecast data is from Informa Telecoms & Media World Cellular Information Service (WCIS+).

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of the 3GPP family of mobile broadband technologies, including LTE-Advanced, throughout the ecosystem's networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the success of 3GPP technologies and their No. 1 place in the region. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org or www.twitter.com/4gamericas and www.facebook.com/4gamericas.

4G Americas' Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Mavenir, Nokia, Openwave Mobility, Qualcomm, Rogers, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

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