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2Q 2018 – Annual Growth of 1.1 Billion LTE Connections Worldwide

Latin America Region: 82 Million New LTE Connections Year over Year
North America: 77% LTE Market Share

BELLEVUE, Wash. – September 21, 2018 – 5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas, today announced that global LTE connections grew by more than one billion connections from June 2017 to June 2018 with a growth rate of 43 percent. With all subscription data provided by Ovum, the LTE market share compared to all other mobile wireless technologies achieved 42.3 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2018 with a global total of 3.6 billion LTE connections.

Latin America and the Caribbean added 82 million new LTE subscriptions with 52 percent growth year over year from June 2017. At the end of the second quarter, there were nearly 241 million LTE connections in the Latin America region on commercial LTE networks across all countries.

North America remains the world region with the largest market share for LTE at 77 percent and 376 million LTE connections.

New LTE deployments continue and as of mid-September, TeleGeography (GlobalComm) reported 609 LTE commercial networks worldwide, while 267 of those operators have already evolved to LTE-Advanced.

Worldwide, LTE is forecast to continue its momentum, reaching over 5.6 billion connections in 2022 at which time LTE market share will stand at 60 percent. 5G is expected to accumulate connections starting in late 2018 and by 2022, it is forecast to have almost 400 million connections worldwide.

2Q 2018 – North America

“These are exciting days for North America as the early commercial realization of 5G technology is just around the corner,” remarked Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. “At the same time, the U.S. and Canadian service providers are heavily invested in the innovation roadmap of LTE to deliver tremendous throughput speeds and coverage as the foundation for future 5G networks.”

LTE achieved a penetration rate over 103 percent with 376 million connections compared to the population of 365 million in North America. This penetration rate compares to the next two highest regions, Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 88 percent and Western Europe at 66 percent.

In addition to having a significantly higher penetration rate, the U.S. and Canada also have the highest market share for LTE in comparison to all mobile wireless technologies with 77 percent versus Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 64 percent and 48 percent in Western Europe. Market share represents the percentage of mobile wireless connections that are LTE technology versus all other mobile technologies.

  • 376 million LTE connections for net gain of 52 million new LTE customers from 2Q 2017 to 2Q 2018
  • LTE is forecast to peak at about 491 million connections at the end of 2021 (including M2M)
  • 31.2 million 5G connections forecast in 2021 – 5 percent of all North America 5G connections — growing to 113.9 million 5G connections in 2022

2Q 2018 – Latin America and the Caribbean

“LTE continues to make significant progress in the Latin American region adding millions of subscribers each quarter by providing excellent coverage and capacity. Even as the benefits of 5G are studied, operators in the region will continue to progress their networks to LTE Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro,” noted Jose Otero, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas.

LTE’s market share increased from 23 percent to nearly 34.6 percent year-over-year at the end of June 2018.

  • 697 million total mobile wireless subscriptions
    • 241 million LTE connections; 82 million new LTE connections added year-over-year from 2Q 2017
    • LTE is forecast to reach 257.9 million connections the end of 2018 (forecast includes M2M) and a 36 percent share of market
    • By the end of 2022, LTE is forecast to reach 504 million connections (forecast includes M2M) and a 64 percent share of market with total number of connections reaching 786 million

2Q 2018 – Global

“Globally, total mobile connections grew by 6 percent in the year to second quarter of 2018, while LTE connections grew a stronger 43 percent during this time,” stated Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst, Ovum. “This substantial LTE foundation leads to the anticipation that soon we will start to see 5G make inroads.”

  • 3.6 billion LTE connections out of a total of 8.5 billion total cellular connections worldwide
  • 1.1 billion new LTE subscriptions year-over-year from 2Q 2017; 42.3 percent growth
  • LTE connections forecast to reach 5.6 billion by year-end 2022 (forecast includes M2M)
  • LTE global market share forecast to reach 60.3 percent by year end 2022
  • 5G is forecast to reach 400 million connections by the end of 2022

For more information and to view a variety of statistical charts on the 3GPP family of technologies, visit Subscriber and forecast data is provided by Ovum. Global LTE and LTE-Advanced deployments data is provided by TeleGeography(GlobalComm) and is also available at 


About 5G Americas: The Voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas

 5G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of LTE wireless technologies and their evolution to 5G, throughout the ecosystem’s networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 5G Americas is invested in developing a connected wireless community while leading 5G development for all the Americas. 5G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. More information is available at or Twitter @5GAmericas.

5G Americas’ Board of Governors members include: AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Ericsson, Intel, Kathrein, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm Incorporated, Samsung, Shaw Communications Inc., Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc., Telefónica and WOM.


5G Americas
Vicki Livingston
+1 414 688 9000

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