A fifth of data connections to be 4G by 2017

A fifth of data connections to be 4G by 2017

4G is increasing in prominence around the world and it was recently announced that a host of UK operators were successful in the auction held by telecoms watchdog Ofcom.

The rise in availability of the technology, which will provide faster mobile broadband to professionals, is expected to drive a 66 per cent growth in mobile data use in the next five years, according to a report from GSMA.

The organisations believe that one in five global mobile broadband subscribers will be using 4G/LTE connections by the time 2017 rolls around, with around five billion of these connections existing in four years time.

"Mobile is a vibrant and evolving industry at the heart of everyday life for billions of people around the world," said GSMA general director Anne Bouverot.

"Mobile has gone beyond being a mere communications tool to one that provides life-enhancing, and in some cases life-saving, services to men, women and children. It's exciting to look at the possibilities ahead of us as we connect the world's population to the mobile internet."

One in 25 mobile broadband subscribers currently uses a 4G/LTE connection, with GSMA noting that 62 million mobile data subscribers are currently working on 4G/LTE speeds.

The organisation believe that an increase in connection speeds will come hand-in-hand with an increase in data usage, as more professionals look to take advantage of faster speeds.

The company's report found that 11.2 exabytes of data will be used globally within each month by 2017, compared to a monthly figure of just 0.9 exabytes per month through 2012.

GSMA's report comes during the start of the Mobile World Conference (MWC) in Barcelona, which is being organised by the firm.

Major companies, such as the CBI has welcomed the growth of 4G in the UK, claiming that it will help growth, create jobs and boost innovation when Britain is in desperate need of it.

Rhian Kelly, director for business environment at the organisation, said that faster connections will help to encourage private investment, underpin employment and enable new ideas to flourish and come to fruition.