May 12, 2014
It’s an undeniable fact that the next global technology touchstone is LTE – and as LTE growth in the U.S. prompts carrier competition between LTE networks, the rest of the world is undergoing similar developments.
Today, 288 LTE networks exist commercially in 104 countries with an estimated 240 million LTE subscribers worldwide, according to reports* from Q1 2014. These numbers are a huge increase even from last year, demonstrating LTE’s high potential for the future.
As a testament to LTE’s growth and importance (and in response to growing data usage and network expectations, experts say that 497 network operators from 150 countries around the world have made firm commitments to deploy LTE networks, paving the road to making LTE a global standard.
Just in the past year, 108 LTE networks have been launched while LTE coverage continues to rapidly expand. Meanwhile, more operators are preparing to introduce voice service for their LTE customers with VoLTE, and investing in LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation technology is now the main trend.*
According to the GSA*, there were 240 million LTE subscribers worldwide at the end of Q1. Looking ahead, experts predict that that number will balloon tremendously, resulting in 7 billion active mobile users by the end of the year.
However, as device markets become increasingly saturated, mobile growth rates have reached their lowest-ever level at 2.6 percent worldwide. So the question is, have we become oversaturated with mobility?
This is a question that the mobile market will have to answer in order to ensure continued mobile growth worldwide.
* GSA: Operators commit to deploy LTE networks in 150 countries, GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association).