China to overtake US

China-to-overtake-US-in-4G-by-end-2015China will overtake US in 4G LTE by end 2015 to become the world’s largest 4G market says GSMA.

Despite launching its first commercial 4G network in late 2013, China is on track to reach 300 million 4G connections by the end of this year, overtaking the US to become the world’s largest 4G market. At the end of 2014, China Mobile had 90 million 4G connections, establishing it as the world’s largest 4G operator.

Europe is currently home to the most individual 4G operators (108). However, almost half (47 percent) of the world’s 4G connections are based in Asia Pacific, concentrated in markets such as South Korea, Japan and, increasingly, China. South Korea can be considered the most advanced mobile market in the world, with two-thirds of the country’s mobile connections running on 4G. On regional basis, North America has 44 percent of total 4G connections.

4G-LTE networks will cover more than a third of the global population by year-end as 4G deployments continue to accelerate across the world. The new data released today calculates that 4G coverage will be available to 35 percent of the global population by the end of 2015, up from 27 per cent at the end of last year.

By the end of January 2015, the number of live 4G operators globally stood at 352. The number of 4G connections is also growing rapidly, more than doubling from 200 million at the end of 2013 to 490 million at the end of last year. Seven percent of all global mobile connections were running on 4G networks at the end of 2014, up from 3 percent a year earlier.

“The rapid growth in 4G network deployments and connections, alongside expanding coverage reach, has made the move to 4G one of the fastest network technology migrations ever seen. GSMA Intelligence forecasts that global 4G connections will grow at more than 30 percent CAGR from 2014 to 2020,” said Hyunmi Yang, chief strategy officer, GSMA.

“There is a tipping point we typically see when 4G grows to account for more than 20 percent of a market that drives adoption of new services. This 20 per cent threshold has already been reached in some markets, and is forecast to happen by 2017-18 on a global basis, which will have a huge transformational impact,” added Yang.

GSMA Intelligence expects strong 4G momentum to continue between now and 2020. By the end of 2015, global 4G connections are forecast to reach 875 million, accounting for 12 percent of total connections. By 2020, 4G is expected to account for more than 30 percent of global connections. 4G networks are expected to cover 63 per cent of the global population by this point.

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