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One Eighth Of All Mobile Connections Are Now 4G

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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GSA says 4G LTE is growing faster than any other type of mobile communication as operators step up investment

An eighth of all mobile subscriptions around the world are now LTE, according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), which says 4G is growing faster than any other form of mobile communications and connections should exceed that of 3G by 2020.

According to figures obtained from analyst house Ovum, LTE connections grew by 152 million during the third quarter of 2015, closing in one on one billion total. This rate of growth is 83 percent greater than 3G.

4G LTE network growth

“The rate of LTE subscriptions growth has accelerated sharply,” said Alan Hadden, vice president of research at the GSA. “The first billion subs for LTE has probably now been reached.”

Asia-Pacific still accounts for the lion’s share with 53.3 percent, while North America is still the second largest region, but it accounts for 24.1 percent of all subscriptions – less than the 29 percent it controlled six months ago. European share is 15.2 percent, but there was growth in Latin America, Caribbean and the Middle East. China alone has 302 million subscribers, with 77 million added in the quarter.

The GSA says there are now 442 4G operators in 147 countries and expects the number of LTE networks launched to reach 460 by the end of the year. One third of all operators are investing in LTE-A, which has been launched by 97 in 48 countries.

The similarly titled GSMA says investment in 4G networks is helping boost the mobile industry’s contribution to the European economy to £390 million through the creation of jobs, taxes and other support.

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