4G still a big deal – 5G Americas

5G Americas has given itself a pat on the back after new research claims LTE momentum continues to grow across the Americas and worldwide.

According to research from Ovum and the peacocking association, LTE connections around the world reached 1.9 billion by the end of 2016 and surpassed 2 billion connections by February of 2017. Ovum now predicts there will be 3 billion connections in 2018, 4 billion connections in 2020 and 5 billion connections in 2022.

“At the recent Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, 5G continued to show incredible progress and great promise in all areas,” said Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. “Yet, at the same time, the evolution of LTE toward LTE-Advanced Pro is being welcomed by mobile wireless customers throughout the world as evidenced by the tremendous growth of LTE customers.”

On a regional basis, North America is claimed to have 298 million connections, which equates to a penetration rate of 83%, with the pair believing 100% will be achieved in 2018. Whether 100% a genuine 100% penetration rate is actually achievable is a suspect claim, however the cocksure association certainly seems to be proud of itself.

The figures are certainly very flattering compared to the rest of the world as well. The research put penetration rates down as low as 47% in Western Europe, and 46% for Oceania, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia. But who would have thought otherwise, the Americans are the best at EVERYTHING after all. Long live the American dream.

“Worldwide, LTE subscriptions grew 74 percent from year end 2015 to year end-2016,” said Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst at Ovum. “By contrast, in the mature North America region, where LTE was an early leader, LTE subscriptions grew by a much smaller 26 percent as the market is more mature and LTE penetration higher.”

Whether the lead the US has worked up over the rest of the world is sustainable remains to be seen, however the research does confirm suspicions that it is further ahead than Europe. Considering the diversity of the nations in Oceania, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, a lower penetration would be expected, however such a difference between the US and Western Europe is a slightly worrying statistic.

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