Home Page ContentPress Releases 225 Million 3GPP Mobile Broadband Connections in Americas

225 Million 3GPP Mobile Broadband Connections in Americas

by david.nunes

225 Million 3GPP Mobile Broadband

Connections in Americas

1 Billion Total Cellular Subscriptions in North, Central and South America

September 06 2012

BELLEVUE, Wash. – 4G Americas reports that HSPA and LTE mobile broadband technologies in North, Central and South America added 65.6 million new connections year-over-year and totaled 225 million connections by the end of June 2012, based on data from Informa Telecoms & Media. This represents approximately 22 percent of the more than 1 billion total cellular subscriptions in the Americas region indicating continued mobile penetration as well as shifting growth into 3GPP mobile broadband.

“Non-3GPP subscriptions are on the decline in the Americas,” said Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. “3GPP technologies subscriptions in the Americas grew 12.6 percent over the last year, while non-3GPP technologies subscriptions fell 2.4 percent during that time.”

[Note: 3GPP technologies include GSM, UMTS/HSPA, and LTE; non-3GPP technologies includeAnalog, CDMA, iDEN and TDMA]

The following are key facts on the Americas as of the 2Q 2012:

  • 17.7 million new HSPA-LTE mobile broadband connections in 2Q 2012 (20.7 million total 3GPP/GSM-HSPA-LTE connections added in 2Q)
  • 79 million new HSPA-LTE mobile broadband connections year-over-year (90 million total 3GPP/GSM-HSPA-LTE connections added year-over-year)
  • Over 78 percent share of market with 807 million subscriptions for 3GPP technologies

“In the Americas region, GSM still remains the dominant technology, but HSPA is by far the fastest growing, with 65.6 million HSPA subscriptions added from June 2011 to June 2012,” Paulin added. “During this time, GSM net additions for the region were at 11 million and LTE has surpassed that, adding 13.4 million – even though there are relatively few operators offering this newest 3GPP technology to date.”

North America

The biggest success story for LTE is in North America where subscriptions exceeded 15.4 million as of June 2012, up from 2 million a year earlier. North America represents 56 percent of the 27.7 million global LTE subscribers. In North America at 2Q 2012:

  • LTE reached 15.4 million subscriptions; 4.6 million LTE subscriptions were added in the 2Q
  • HSPA and LTE grew by 41 percent year-over-year adding 38 million subscriptions; 9.5 million connections were added in 2Q; growth percentage for GSM and CDMA connections declined as customers migrate to HSPA and LTE mobile broadband
  • There are 15 commercial LTE networks in North America with an additional 6  launches expected by the end of this year
  • The U.S. leads the world in LTE connections

Latin America

“With 95 percent market share in Latin America for 3GPP technologies, the potential market for LTE is enormous. Latin America is ontrack with seven LTE deployments, with many more deployments expected by 2013,” stated Erasmo Rojas, Director of Latin America and the Caribbean at 4G Americas. “The key ingredient for LTE deployment in Latin America is the continued auction of internationally harmonized spectrum in different spectrum bands – high and low – to satisfy both the high demand of data in urban areas and the need for internet connectivity in rural areas.”

Latin America is approaching 100 million HSPA and LTE mobile broadband subscriptions. Although GSM connections had a modest 6 percent growth annually, there was a 75 percent annual growth for 3GPP mobile broadband in the region.

Mobile broadband deployments continue to progress in Latin America. To date:

  • 80 commercial deployments of HSPA in 34 countries, and of those, 41 have been upgraded to HSPA+ in 22 countries
  • In addition, there are 7 commercial LTE networks in five countries and 230,000 LTE connections are expected by the end of 2012
  • The majority of operators in Latin America plan to launch LTE by the end of 2013, according to Informa; over 60 percent of operators plan to launch in the next two years, with 30 percent launching in 2012


LTE is commercial on 99 networks in 49 counties in all regions of the world, and an additional 33 launches are expected in 2012. More than 342 operators worldwide have planned deployments or are trialing LTE-TDD or LTE-FDD. Connections are growing quickly, from 2.25 million in June 2011, to 27.7 million at June 2012. LTE connections are expected to reach 42 million at the end of 2012; by 2013 there will be 98 million LTE connections based upon Informa’s forecasts; this will grow to 999 million by the end of 2017.

Graphs and Charts

4G Americas maintains a current list of HSPA+ and LTE Global Deployments on its website. For more information and to view a variety of statistical charts on the 3GPP family of technologies, visit www.4gamericas.org. All Subscriber data is from Informa Telecoms & Media World Cellular Information Service (WCIS).

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to promote, facilitate and advocate for the deployment and adoption of the 3GPP family of technologies throughout the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the successful commercial rollout of 3GPP mobile broadband technologies across the Americas and their place as the No. 1 technology family in the region. The organization aims to develop the expansive wireless ecosystem of networks, devices, and applications enabled by GSM and its evolution to LTE. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org.

4G Americas’ Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, CommScope, Ericsson, Gemalto, HP, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, Openwave Mobility, Powerwave, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Rogers, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

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