There are 1.1 billion LTE subscribers in the world, but the majority of those 4G users are concentrated in one region: Asia. Wireless industry group the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) released new data today showing where LTE has its biggest impact, and while North America and Europe definitely have their fair share of 4G subscribers, 54.3% of all 4G connections in the fourth quarter belonged to the Asia-Pacific region.
Asia is by far the world’s most populated continent, so Asia is exactly where you would expect more and more of the world’s 4G user base to gravitate. But let’s give credit where credit is due. Japan, South Korea and Australia were among LTE’s earliest adopters, giving Asia an early lead when it comes to 4G penetration. Those countries, however, can’t fully account for the more than 580 million 4G subscriptions in the region. What we’re seeing is the huge population centers of China, India and Southeast Asia bring their 4G might to bear. According to the GSA, China accounted for 386 million LTE connections in December – more than one third of the worldwide total.
North America accounted for 22.2% of LTE subscribers, thanks mainly to the high volume of U.S. 4G users, while Europe laid claim to 14.8% of the global total. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa split the remaining 8.7%. It’s also interesting to note that this new spate of LTE growth wasn’t a gradual buildup. Rather it was an explosion over the last year. The GSA report found that half of the world’s 1.1 billion LTE subscribers came online in 2015.