Worldwide LTE connections reached nearly 4 billion at the end of December 2018, accounting for 47 percent of all mobile subscriptions, up from 37 percent a year earlier, according to the latest study by Ovum for industry association 5G Americas. In total, LTE subscriptions grew by nearly 1 billion in 2018, driven by Central and Southern Asia, which soared 81 percent year on year due above all to 236 million net additions from India. The Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia region has the largest number of LTE subscriptions at 2.12 billion, due primarily to 1.56 billion connections in China.
North America continues to lead global LTE market share with an 82 percent market share, ahead of Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 67 percent, Western Europe at 52 percent and Latin America and the Caribbean at 40 percent. The North American region ended the quarter with 417 million LTE connections for a net gain of 63 million new LTE customers in 2018.
Latin America and the Caribbean added an impressive 277 million new LTE subscriptions in 2018 and is expected to be the most widely used cellular technology in the region by the end of 2019. In total, LTE is forecast to reach 348 million connections at the end of 2019, 413 million at end of 2020, and peak at 510 million connections by 2022 with a 67 percent market share (including M2M).
Ovum previously predicted that global mobile connections will reach 10 billion by 2023, with 5G technology accounting for 1.3 billion of the total.