4G LTEMore than one third (38.5%) of all wireless cellular technology worldwide used LTE in the first quarter of 2018, according to new LTE market share data from 5G Americas and Ovum.

North America dominates the LTE landscape, with a penetration rate of more than three-quarters (76 percent). Next were Oceania, Eastern and South Eastern Asia with a 59%, then Western Europe at 46%.

LTE Market Share
Actual LTE connections exceed 100% of the market for the U.S. and Canada in March, with a total of 365 million connections (the population was 364 million). No other region is expected to reach such a penetration rate for the next year and a half, but after that penetration rates will soar until 2021, when 5G technologies will start significantly impacting penetration rates, according to 5G Americas.

The 5G Americas study is in line with the recent Ericsson projection that we reported on, which forecast 1 billion 5G subscribers by 2023, when more than 20% of the world’s population will have access to the technology.

The Ericsson report also found that mobile data traffic, driven by video, is continuing to grow and that LTE will be the dominant access technology by the end of this year.

“5G is on the horizon and will be built upon the most solid of foundations – LTE – which is the current workhorse for the industry and offers mobile broadband global coverage for many years to come,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, in a prepared statement. “We are already hearing news of planned 5G deployments beginning later in 2018 and early 2019; however, LTE will continue to grow until 2022, when we will begin to see some substantial uptake in 5G connections.”

LTE is currently deployed on 597 networks worldwide. Nearly half (251) are LTE-Advanced (TeleGeography-GlobalComms Database).

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