US and Canada are No. 1 in LTE Connections with 87% Global Market Share

4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, has announced that LTE connections in North America hit 3.3 million representing 87 percent of all 3.8 million LTE connections worldwide, according to 3Q 2011 data from Informa Telecoms & Media. This puts the U.S. and Canada in the number one position as global leaders in LTE subscriptions.

“The early deployment of LTE in the United States and Canada has put the region in a leadership position worldwide,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. “It is also one of the key reasons why securing additional spectrum is a requirement for continued mobile broadband progress in serving both consumer and business customers while increasing our much-needed economic development in North America. Without additional spectrum in the region, the leadership position will inevitably fall. It is already expected that by 2013 the Asia Pacific region will surpass North America in LTE subscriptions.”

In Latin America, where LTE will most likely be deployed during December 2011 or first quarter of 2012, UMTS-HSPA mobile broadband is significantly penetrating the market. In the year ending September 2011, UMTS-HSPA connections increased by 29.5 million for an 85 percent annual growth rate in the region with total 3GPP mobile broadband connections reaching 64.2 million.

Erasmo Rojas, 4G Americas’ Director of Latin America and the Caribbean, commented on the continued success of 3GPP technologies in the region. “People are finding alternative ways to communicate using services other than voice. With the consequent reduction in voice revenues and the flood of new sophisticated devices such as smartphones and tablets in the hands of the consumer, operators see this trend as an excellent opportunity to increase their data revenues with new and attractive Value Added Services. Data services contributed an average of 22 percent to ARPU during 2Q 2011. That is the main reason that Latin America and the Caribbean are pressing hard on the HSPA+ accelerator with 28 commercial networks in 17 countries while preparing the way for upcoming LTE deployments.”

Following are key statistics for the 3GPP family of technologies (GSM-HSPA-LTE) in 3Q 2011:

Western Hemisphere – All Americas Region:
Total of 89.5 million new GSM-LTE subscriptions in the 12 month period ending September 2011, equalling 90 percent of all new mobile customers
3GPP technologies represent 741.6 million customer connections comprising a 77 percent market share
UMTS-HSPA mobile broadband subscriptions totalled nearly 160 million with the addition of 15.6 million subscribers in 3Q 2011
UMTS-HSPA-LTE subscriptions reached 163 million with 17 million new subscriptions in 3Q 2011
Annually, 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions (UMTS-HSPA-LTE) added 59.7 million (nearly 58 percent annual growth)

U.S. and Canada:
Total of 157.7 million GSM-LTE subscriptions — nearly 45 percent of mobile market share
30 million UMTS-LTE mobile broadband subscriptions added between September 2010 and September 2011
No. 1 in LTE subscriptions worldwide: 1.5 million new LTE subscribers were added in the third quarter of 2011, bringing the total to 3.3 million LTE connections
5 commercial LTE networks, including Bell Wireless Affiliates and Rogers Wireless in Canada and AT&T, MetroPCS and Verizon in the U.S.
Forecast nearly 150 million LTE connections at end of 2016 (Informa)

Latin America and Caribbean:
Total of 584 million GSM-HSPA subscriptions as of September 2011, 75 million connections added year-over-year
3GPP technologies hold a 95 percent market share with the addition of 20 million new subscriptions in 3Q 2011
UMTS-HSPA contributed significantly to this number with 9 million new subscriptions for the quarter; 29.5 million added in 12 months for a total of 65 million connections
As of September 2011, UMTS-HSPA accounted for 10.4 percent of all subscribers in the region
Currently 28 commercial HSPA+ networks offer service in 17 countries of the region
38 operators in 15 countries of Latin America have committed to LTE deployment pending the acquisition of spectrum resources. UNE (Colombia), Telcel (Mexico), Claro (Puerto Rico) and ANTEL (Uruguay) are expected to launch LTE in early 2012

Global:
5.8 billion total wireless subscribers
5.2 billion 3GPP subscriptions (90 percent market share)
826 million UMTS-HSPA-LTE mobile broadband subscriptions as of September 2011
413 commercial UMTS-HSPA networks
173 HSPA+ networks
3.8 million LTE subscriptions; 38 commercial LTE networks in 24 countries