LTE ReportNorth America continues to set the pace for 4G LTE mobile telecom carriers worldwide, with more than 10.8 million LTE subscriptions, more than 2/3 of the global subscriber base as of March, according to preliminary figures provided by Informa Telecoms & Media for 4G Americas. Of that 10.8 million, more than 10.5 million are in the US, while Canada accounted for nearly 300,000 LTE connections as of the end of 1Q.

HSPA (High-Speed ) is the leading mobile broadband network technology globally, with more than an 80% share of the market, and it continues to reach milestones, according to Informa’s research. Commercial HSPA+ networks total 221 in 107 countries, “including 80 commercial HSPA+ Dual-Carrier networks in 46 countries with peak theoretical uplink rates of 42 Mbps,” according to Informa.

“The surge is beginning for LTE subscriptions as operators gain new wireless spectrum, deploy infrastructure and offer LTE service,” stated 4G Americas’ president Chris Pearson in an announcement of the research findings.

“With over 220 HSPA+ deployments around the world providing fast mobile broadband connections, it is both logical and impressive to see the tremendous momentum of LTE now taking place to provide an even more robust and efficient experience.”

Providers are rolling out next-gen 4G mobile broadband services across the US even as they grapple with how to identify and act on ways to capitalize on their 4G network investments, according to an April survey and report from PC World, in which AT&T came out tops in terms of average 4G wireless download speeds.

With an estimated 200-plus million HSPA and LTE connections as of the end of 1Q, Informa expects the Americas region mobile broadband connections will exceed 250 million 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions by year-end. That’s expected to double by 2015 and is forecast to reach more than 700 million by 2016.

Mobile broadband deployments continue to progress across the Americas, according to Informa’s research. To date:

  • Latin America has 80 commercial deployments of HSPA in 34 countries, and of those, 36 have been upgraded to HSPA+ in 21 countries. Entel and Movistar in Chile and Personal in Paraguay have deployed HSPA+ Dual-Carrier at peak theoretical uplink speeds of 42 Mbps
  • There are 6 commercial LTE networks in 4 countries in Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Uruguay) and Informa expects about 300,000 LTE connections by the end of 2012
  • North America has 17 commercial deployments of HSPA: 7 in the U.S. and 10 in Canada. Of those, 5 have been upgraded to HSPA+ in the U.S. and 8 have been upgraded to HSPA+ in Canada. T-Mobile USA has deployed HSPA+ with Dual-Carrier
  • There are 8 commercial LTE networks in the U.S. and 3 in Canada

LTE technology has skyrocketed worldwide in deployments and subscriptions as well, according to Informa. “LTE is commercial on 74 networks in 40 countries with more than 110 commercial networks expected by the end of 2012.

“Based upon public announcements, there are more than 334 operators committed to LTE in their future plans: 73 in trial; 187 planned (including 40 more launches in 2012); 59 potential licenses; and 15 licenses awarded,” said 4G Americas in the announcement.

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