This is an increase from a current figure of 324 million, with China expected to dominate the total connection base in 2021 at 1.08 billion
Ovum has predicted the number of 4G connections worldwide will grow from a current figure of 324 million to more than 3.3 billion in 2021.
The market analyst revealed its forecast today (December 13). It added 4G connections will make up 53 per cent of all mobile subscriptions worldwide, driven by how cost effective 4G services are for operators.
Ovum principal analyst Craig Skinner said: “The main reason operators are strengthening their commitment to roll-out 4G today is for cost reduction.
“The better spectral efficiency of moving voice to 4G allows spectrum to be re-purposed for mobile broadband. Longer-term, there is the potential to shut down 2G/3G networks and simplify the network.”
The end of 2021 will see China dominate with 1.08 billion connections, according to Ovum. It is followed by the United States (379 million) and Japan (147 million). Countries such as South Korea are expected to have the highest penetration rate of 4G at 96.7 per cent of the total subscription base. It is followed by Japan (96.7 per cent) and Norway (94.1 per cent).
Ovum senior analyst Paul Lambert added: “Although there are direct benefits from 4G to end-users in terms of faster call set-up times, simultaneous voice-and-data sessions and improved voice quality, it is operators rather than consumers that are driving 4G uptake. In the future operators will be able to use 4G to offer new services, or enhance existing services with new features.”