Written by Staff Writer
27 Nov, 2013 | 12:09 pm
There will be more one than billion mobile connections to the super-fast 4G network by 2017, according to research.
It is predicted that 4G will account for one in eight of the more than eight billion total mobile connections by 2017, up from 176 million 4G connections at the end of this year, the study by GSMA intelligence found.
Roughly 20 per cent of the global population is currently covered by 4G, and it is forecast that the network will be available to half of the world’s population by 2017.
It is also anticipated that by 2017 there will be nearly 500 4G networks in service across 128 countries, around double the number that are live today, as consumers’ transition from 3G to 4G moves at a much faster pace than the switch from 2G to 3G.
In the U.S. 4G is already available to nine in ten of the population, compared to just half in Europe and one in 10 in Asia. Hyunmi Yang, chief strategy officer at GSMA, has said the availability of 4G-enabled smartphones and better tariffs are contributing to the spread of the super-fast network.
She said: “Since the launch of the first commercial 4G-LTE networks in late 2009 we are seeing deployments accelerate across the globe.
“Mobile operators in both developed and developing markets are seeing LTE services contributing to a significant increase in ARPU (average revenue per user).”
This is in part explained by the fact that 4G customers use twice as much data as non-4G users, according to the analysts. South Korea was found by GSMA to be the most advanced 4G market worldwide, with half of mobile phones running on the network, compared to just 20 per cent in Japan and the U.S.
The U.S. currently accounts for 46 per cent of global 4G connections, but the balance is expected to shift to Asia by 2017, which will account for 47 per cent of 4G connections. The UK was relatively late in receiving 4G, with the network still only covering roughly 60 per cent of the population.
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