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Two billion 4G subscribers by 2019


In 2019, there will likely be over two billion 4G subscriptions worldwide, according to ABI Research. The firm notes that the growth rate of ultra-high-speed mobile subscriptions is likely to accelerate due to the rollout of new, even faster standards, starting with LTE Advanced.

ABI Research estimates that there were 229.7 million LTE subscriptions in 2013 (all standards combined) and that subscriber numbers will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 43.6 percent, reaching two billion by the end of 2019. The firm also predicts that 750 million of these subscribers will be using the LTE Advanced standard, which offers speeds twice as high as ordinary 4G networks.

North America is currently the zone where LTE Advanced technology is being deployed the most rapidly, ahead of the Asia-Pacific region and Western Europe. Across all standards, however, ABI reports that the Asia-Pacific region has the highest 4G subscriber growth rate, followed by North America.

LTE Advanced is a technological evolution of the LTE standard, also known as 4G. While the maximum possible connection speed over an LTE Advanced network depends on a factor known as aggregated bandwidth, they can in theory reach up to 300Mbps, or twice the speed of other LTE networks. Mobile terminals must be equipped with a special chip to be compatible with the LTE Advanced standard.