Worldwide 4G connections surpass one billion, says GSMA


The claim was made in the GSMA’s latest ‘Mobile Economy’ report published February 22

The number of worldwide 4G connections has surpassed one billion, according to the latest ‘Mobile Economy’ report from the GSMA.

These connections accounted for 7.3 billion total mobile connections made by the end of last year. The GSMA also claimed a predicted nine billion subscriptions by 2020 will be made up of three billion 4G connections.

This increase has been driven by wider mobile broadband access and rising smartphone adoption, said the GSMA. It said smartphones accounted for 45 per cent of mobile connections last year, with a further 2.6 billion connections expected by 2020. Figures in the report reveal there are 451 live 4G networks in 151 countries, with half being in the developing world.

GSMA director general Mats Granryd said: “Our new report reveals that mobile broadband is now a truly global phenomenon, extending high-speed connectivity and services to citizens in all corners of the world.

“The unprecedented growth in mobile broadband last year is testament to the billions of dollars that mobile operators have invested in next-generation networks, services and spectrum in recent years. Mobile is now the most ubiquitous platform for people and businesses to connect and innovate in today’s digital economy.”

The number of individual mobile subscriptions worldwide stood at 4.7 billion at the end of last year – equivalent to 63 per cent of the world’s population. This number is forecasted by the GSMA to reach 5.6 billion by 2020.