Global LTE Connections Grow 59% over 12 Months to 2.37 Billion

LTE Subscriptions Up to 327 Million in North America and 159 Million in Latin America & the Caribbean

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwired - September 08, 2017) - 5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, today announced that global LTE connections grew 59 percent from June 2016 to June 2017 reaching 2.37 billion. The LTE market share compared to all other mobile wireless technologies reached 30 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 10 percentage points in one year. There was an increase of 878 million new LTE subscriptions in one year according to data from Ovum for the second quarter of 2017.

The North America region achieved 327 million LTE subscriptions by the end of June 2017 with some of the highest penetration rates, most extensive coverage and largest market share for LTE in the world. Latin America nearly doubled LTE connections to 159 million from 81.5 million year-over-year at 2Q 2017 increasing by 95 percent.

New LTE deployments continue and as of mid-August TeleGeography (GlobalComm) reported 551 commercial LTE deployments worldwide, while 206 of those operators have already evolved to LTE-Advanced.

Worldwide, LTE is forecast to continue its momentum, reaching over 2.5 billion connections by the end of 2017, 3 billion in 2018 and 4.9 billion connections in 2022. 5G is expected to accumulate connections starting in 2019 and by 2022, it is forecast to have 389 million connections worldwide.

2Q 2017 - North America

"The benefits of the technological advances of LTE are being utilized by subscribers throughout the North America region as they depend on LTE to be connected anytime and anywhere with robust data speeds," remarked Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. "At the same time, the wireless industry is making tremendous strides in making 5G a reality soon."

LTE achieved a penetration rate of 90.5 percent with 327 million connections compared to the population of 362 million in North America. This penetration rate compares to the next two highest regions, Western Europe, and Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia, both at 54 percent penetration. In North America, LTE penetration is expected to pass 100 percent in 2018.

In addition to having a significantly higher penetration rate, the U.S. and Canada also have the highest market share for LTE in comparison to all mobile wireless technologies with 71 percent versus Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 49 percent and 39 percent in Western Europe. Market share represents the percentage of mobile wireless connections that are LTE technology versus all other mobile technologies.

  • 327 million LTE connections for net gain of 54 million new LTE customers from 2Q 2016 to 2Q 2017
  • LTE is forecast to reach 456 million connections at the end of 2021 (including M2M)
  • 34.9 million 5G connections forecast in 2021 -- nearly 31 percent of all global 5G connections

2Q 2017 - Latin America and the Caribbean

"LTE continues to make significant progress in Latin America and the Caribbean with the expansion of current networks and the imminent increase in the number of markets offering LTE-Advanced," noted Jose Otero, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas. "The region will also benefit from various LTE-Advanced Pro trials in markets that range from Argentina in the South to Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean. As more spectrum is allocated in the Caribbean and Central America markets and LTE network coverage increases its adoption will accelerate."

LTE's market share increased from 12 percent to 23 percent year-over-year at the end of June 2017, almost doubling in the region.

  • 695 million total mobile wireless subscriptions
    • 159 million LTE connections; 77.6 million new LTE connections added year-over-year from 2Q 2016
    • LTE is forecast to reach 198.6 million connections at the end of 2017 (forecast includes M2M) and a 28 percent share of market
    • By the end of 2021, LTE is forecast to reach 458 million connections (forecast includes M2M) and a 59 percent share of market with total number of connections reaching 777 million

2Q 2017 - Global

"LTE subscriptions grew by 878 million worldwide from 2Q 2016 to 2Q 2017, with nearly half of the additional subscriptions (48 percent) coming from the Oceania, Eastern & Southeastern Asia region where China is by far the largest contributor to LTE," stated Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst, Ovum. "It is Central and Southern Asia, however, with the biggest LTE subscriber growth over this same period with 1,203 percent including India as the biggest contributor to LTE, while penetration of LTE technology in the region is only 10 percent." Paulin continued, "By comparison, North America has an LTE penetration over 90 percent - and that is why the LTE 2Q 2017 year-over-year growth rate for the region was much lower than others at 20 percent."

  • 2.37 billion LTE connections out of a total of 7.8 billion total cellular connections worldwide
  • 878 million new LTE subscriptions year-over-year from 2Q 2016; 59 percent growth
  • LTE connections forecast to reach 4.8 billion by year-end 2021 (forecast includes M2M)
  • LTE global market share forecast to reach 53 percent by year end 2021
  • 5G is forecast to reach 111 million connections by the end of 2021

For more information and to view a variety of statistical charts on the 3GPP family of technologies, visit Subscriber and forecast data is provided by Ovum. Global LTE and LTE-Advanced deployments data is provided by Telegeography (GlobalComm) and is also available at

About 5G Americas: The Voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas

5G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of LTE wireless technology and its evolution beyond to 5G, throughout the ecosystem's networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 5G Americas is invested in developing a connected wireless community while leading 5G development for all the Americas. 5G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. More information is available at

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5G Americas' Board of Governors members include: América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Intel, Kathrein, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc. and Telefónica.

Contact Information:

5G Americas
Vicki Livingston
+1 414 688 9000