LTE Subscriptions to Account for 50% of All Global Mobile Subscriptions by 2024

According to a recent forecast by ABI Research, LTE is expected to grow from approximately 30% of global mobile subscriptions in 2017 to 50% in 2024. The most advanced LTE service, Gigabit LTE, is expected to near two million subscriptions globally in 2017, which is less than 5% of LTE Advanced Pro subscriptions in 2017. The number of Gigabit LTE devices, launched in 2017 will exceed the number of subscriptions, as few cell sites are expected to reach Gigabit LTE speeds in 2017. 

Gigabit LTE is a specific configuration of the LTE Advanced Pro standard and is expected to account for 70% of LTE Advanced Pro subscriptions by 2026. It is a critical network milestone for operators in an increasingly competitive environment in the evolution to 5G. It is essential for operators to support the ever-rising bandwidth needs of consumers, while also upgrading the network to support 5G networks in future. Gigabit LTE is a pivotal piece of an advanced 4G mobile network that can support an operator's mobile service goals over the next six to eight years and beyond.

As Gigabit LTE offers higher bandwidth to consumers and very efficient use of spectrum for operators, more operators are expected to launch Gigabit LTE globally over the next year and a half. Telecom leader Sprint launched the first Gigabit LTE service for mobile devices in New Orleans, Louisiana in March 2017. Telstra introduced a Gigabit LTE mobile hotspot service in Sydney, Australia in February 2017, and is expected to support Gigabit LTE mobile devices as they become available. Monaco’s telecom operator Monaco Telecom launched a mobile Gigabit LTE service recently in April 2017.

ABI Research expects additional launches to take place this year from all key operators in the U.S., as well as by some operators in Asia, Europe, and Canada.

These findings are from ABI Research's Network Technology and Market Tracker report. Click here to learn more.