LTE subscription reaches 250-Million Milestone Worldwide: Ovum

By VARINDIA - 2014-09-19

LTE subscription reaches 250-Million Milestone Worldwide: Ovum

Ovum’s latest report has revealed that the number of LTE mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide has reached the milestone of 250 million in the first quarter of 2014.

Ovum’s latest update to the World Cellular Data Metrics, which tracks mobile data usage and take-up including subscribers, deployments, revenues, mobile broadband usage, and SMS/MMS/data traffic, shows that the US is the world’s largest LTE market, with the two leading US operators, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, accounting for 35% of global LTE subscriptions.

LTE is well established in North America, and there have been no significant launches in 2014. However, operators are still expanding their network coverage. As of March 2014, Verizon covered 93% of the US population and AT&T covered 87%. Sprint and T-Mobile are behind these two leaders with coverage, but both are aggressively building out their LTE networks. As of June 2014, Sprint covered 70% of the US population. As of July 2014, T-Mobile covered 71%.

Europe has seen 10 LTE launches this year, with the most recent launches being UK Broadband in the UK and Bakcell in Azerbaijan. In total, there are 96 LTE networks in service in Europe, and there are many planned launches on the horizon too, especially in the Eastern Europe and CIS countries. The UK leads both Western Europe and all of Europe in LTE subscriptions with over 6 million, while Russia leads Eastern Europe with more than 2 million.

Kristin Paulin, Senior Research Analyst, says, “As at mid-2014, there were 34 LTE deployments in the Asia-Pacific region, split across 16 markets. The region saw its mobile broadband market pass the 1 billion subscriptions mark in early 2014. LTE was the fastest-growing technology, with subscriptions increasing by 102% year on year and passed the 100 million mark in mid-2014. LTE represented just over 9% of the total mobile broadband subscriptions. Japan, Korea and Australia are the second-, third- and fourth-largest markets in the world, respectively and the three combined accounted for 32% of the global LTE subscriptions in 1Q14.”

The Middle East saw an increase of LTE subscriptions by 174% year on year to 3 million in 2Q14. There have been 17 deployments across LTE subscriptions in the Middle East. Vodafone Qatar is the latest operator to launch LTE in the region with a network going live in June 2014.  Infrastructure supplier Huawei led the market in terms of number of contracts – 14 by mid-2014, followed by Ericsson and NSN each supplying 7 operators. With a 20% population penetration in 1Q14, Kuwait is among the top 10 most penetrated markets globally.

Africa saw 22 live deployments by mid-2014 across 12 countries. There is a high concentration in Southern Africa, which hosts 12 networks. In all cases, coverage is still limited and the strategy is to first target high-end and business segments beyond South Africa. Handsets subsidy is rare and therefore the price of devices is the main entry barrier. Of the 22 networks, 14 are from operators upgrading from 3G and very few of them offer LTE at a premium price.
The eight remaining networks are deployed by ISPs, having upgraded from WiMAX or started from scratch with LTE. There were 1.6m LTE subscriptions in Africa in 1Q14.
 

 


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