LTE is growing phenomenally in China. By the end of 2014, China gained almost 100 million LTE subscriptions in the first year of full LTE commercialisation, demonstrating an accelerating growth momentum, according to ABI Research.
Thanks to the first-mover advantages, China Mobile seized almost 90 percent share of the LTE market in China.
“Since the other two China mobile operators — China Unicom and China Telecom — were granted preferred FDD-LTE licenses in March 2015, it is expected that China will overtake the US to become the largest 4G market in the world, accumulating 500 million LTE subscriptions, or 36.5 percent of the domestic cellular subscriptions in 2015,” said Marina Lu, Research Analyst of ABI Research.
In Q4 of 2014, global LTE subscriptions increased by 149.1 million, which, for the first time, surpassed 3G subscriptions growth by 10.9 percent. LTE subscriptions will continue to cannibalise the 3G subscriber base, growing at a CAGR of 21 percent between 2015 and 2020, to reach 3.5 billion.
Asia-Pacific leads the global LTE subscriptions with 48.6 percent share, followed by North America and Western Europe. Global 2G subscriptions will continue to fall through 2020 and stand at 1.69 billion.