4G Americas reports that HSPA mobile broadband technologies in North America passed 100 million connections by the end of 2011, based on data from Informa Telecoms & Media. In North America, the LTE market continued to race ahead in 4Q 2011, adding 2 million subscriptions to finish the quarter with 5.3 million subscriptions, making it by far the leading region in the world for LTE with 71 percent of global LTE subscriptions.
"To put the two million LTE net additions into context, the much larger U.S. HSPA market added 5.4 million subscriptions in fourth quarter 2011, and the U.S. CDMA market added 2.8 million. This shows that growth in the U.S. mobile market is rapidly shifting to LTE," said Mike Roberts, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.
Including Latin America, the Americas region is expected to have more than 250 million 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions by the end of 2012; that number is expected to more than double by 2015, and is forecasted to reach more than 700 million subscriptions by 2016.
Latin America saw tremendous uptake of mobile broadband across the region. Of the 21 million new 3GPP technology connections added in the fourth quarter, 9.5 million were HSPA, meaning close to 50 percent of net new subscriptions were mobile broadband connections. At the end of 2011, Latin America had more than 74 million HSPA connections included in the 604 million subscriptions to GSM-HSPA to reach an incredible 95 percent market share of all mobile connections in the region.
"The Americas region truly is a success story for many reasons," stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "Before the end of this year, more than one billion total subscriptions will be achieved for wireless technologies and the 3GPP family of technologies will comprise 78 percent of the market. The shift has been gradual over the last ten years, when GSM represented a small ten percent of the market. With the growth of GSM, HSPA and LTE, the U.S. has become the global leader for advanced technologies and Latin America is quickly adopting these technologies as well."
The Americas region had 768 million 3GPP technology connections at the end of 2011, nearly one quarter of which were HSPA and LTE mobile broadband subscriptions. More than 90 million new 3GPP subscriptions were added in 2011, with 25.5 million added in fourth quarter.
Mobile broadband deployments continue to progress in the Americas. To date:
Latin America has 72 commercial deployments of HSPA in 31 countries, and of those, 32 have been upgraded to HSPA+ in 20 countries
In addition, there are 5 commercial LTE networks in Latin America and 300,000 LTE connections are expected by the end of 2012
There are 8 commercial LTE networks in North America
LTE technologies have skyrocketed in deployments and subscriptions on a worldwide basis. Today, LTE is commercial on 57 networks in 34 countries with more than 100 total commercial networks expected by the end of 2012. With 22 million connections forecasted for LTE worldwide by year-end 2012, that number will grow to an estimated 63 million by year-end 2013, and expand to 156 million at the end of 2014, according to Informa's research.