Next generation connections will rocket past the one billion mark by 2017, with the GSMA predicting around one in eight connections will be on 4G.
A new study found people were largely moving faster to 4G than they shifted to 3G. Consumers on 4G are using an average of 1.5GB per month, almost double that of 3G. The report said handset subsidies were a major factor in consumers trading up to 4G contracts but added pricing was more innovative than in recent years. The report said that by the end of this year, 176 million people will be on a 4G network.
Unsurprisingly, given the relative infancy of its 4G market, the UK lags behind other countries. The United States accounts for 46% of global connections, with it, Japan and South Korea combined accounting for 80% of the market. By 2017, Asisa will account for 47% of all 4G connections.
Hyunmi Yang, chief strategy officer at the GSMA, said: 'Since the launch of the first commercial 4G-LTE networks in late 2009 we are seeing deployments accelerate across the globe. Our new report highlights a number of factors that are driving LTE growth: the timely allocation of suitable spectrum to mobile operators; the availability of affordable LTE devices; and the implementation of innovative tariffs that encourage adoption of high-speed data services. Mobile operators in both developed and developing markets are seeing LTE services contributing to a significant increase in ARPU.'
Author: Graeme Neill