Half of North American mobile connections on HSPA, LTE

HSPA and LTE accounted for 49 percent of all mobile connections in North America at the end of the first quarter of 2013, according to research conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media and released by 4G Americas. The United States and Canada added 58 million HSPA and LTE mobile broadband connections in the year that ended March 2013, achieving 181 million total connections with annualized growth of 47 percent. As of March 2013, LTE subscriptions reached 49 million in North America, and the region represented 54 percent of all global LTE connections. Last month, North America surpassed the 50 million-subscription milestone, and the region is expected to reach 61 million LTE connections at the end of 2013.

However, 4G Americas cautioned that spectrum needs could put a crimp in future growth. "The leadership of LTE in North America is fragile, as more spectrum allocations by governments are needed soon to alleviate the impending spectrum crunch," said Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas. Nonetheless, Informa predicts that by the end of 2018, the market share for HSPA and LTE in North America will increase to 82 percent. Similarly, Pyramid Research recently forecast that the number of LTE subscribers in the United States will represent 70 percent of all U.S. mobile subscriptions by 2017. For more, see this 4G Americas release.