4G set to offer coverage to over a third of the global population

4G set to offer coverage to over a third of the global population

The rise of superfast mobile broadband is showing no sign of easing over the course of the next few years, with new figures suggesting that 4G will cover over a third of the globe's population.

Data gathered by GSMA Intelligence found that coverage will be available to 35 per cent of the world's population by the end of 2015, increasing from the 27 per cent recorded at the end of the last year.

The number of 4G connections has also rapidly increased, rising from 200 million at the end of 2013 to 490 million by the end of last year.

The first commercial 4G networks were launched back in December 2009, while the end of January 2015 saw the number of live operators around the world stand at 352.

According to the numbers, global 4G connections could therefore reach 875 million by the end of 2015, accounting for 12 per cent of total connections.

And that growth looks set to continue right up until 2020, with 4G expected to account for over 30 per cent of global connections, with total global network coverage set to reach 63 per cent by that point.

Hyunmi Yang, chief strategy officer at the GSMA, said: “The rapid growth in 4G network deployments and connections, alongside expanding coverage reach, has made the move to 4G one of the fastest network technology migrations ever seen. GSMA Intelligence forecasts that global 4G connections will grow at more than 30 per cent a year (CAGR) from 2014 to 2020.

“There is a tipping point we typically see when 4G grows to account for more than 20 per cent of a market that drives adoption of new services. This 20 per cent threshold has already been reached in some markets, and is forecast to happen by 2017-18 on a global basis, which will have a huge transformational impact.”