Ericsson: North America to dominate LTE subscriptions through 2019

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) expects the North American market, currently it largest by sales, to continue to be the leader in LTE subscriptions for the next several years, according to a new report from the vendor.

Ericsson's annual "Mobility Report" predicts that even though 40 percent of North American subscribers were WCDMA/HSPA in 2013, by 2015 LTE will represent the majority of subscriptions in the region, growing to around 85 percent in 2019. "This rapid growth in LTE subscriptions is driven by strong competition, consumer demand and CDMA operators' early decisions to migrate to LTE," the report concludes.

The prediction of North America's huge proportion of LTE subscribers far exceeds the prediction for Western Europe, the next largest region in terms of expected LTE subscribers in 2019, at 50 percent penetration.

According to the report, by 2019 operators will cover around 80 percent of Europe's population with LTE, but Europe will only see LTE subscription penetration of 30 percent--Central and Eastern Europe is predicted to have weaker LTE subscriber penetration than Western Europe.

Meanwhile, in North East Asia operators will cover fully 95 percent of the population with LTE by 2019, and LTE subscriber penetration levels will reach 45 percent by then. And in 2019, China is expected to reach more than 700 million LTE subscriptions, representing more than 25 percent of total global subscriptions for LTE.

In terms of other interesting stats from the report, Ericsson expects total mobile subscriptions will grow from 6.8 billion in in the first quarter of 2014 to 9.2 billion by the end of 2019. Global mobile broadband subscriptions are predicted to reach 7.6 billion by 2019 and will make up a larger share of all mobile subscriptions as time goes on. Ericsson defines mobile broadband subscriptions as those using HSPA, LTE, CDMA2000 EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and mobile WiMAX connectivity--other connections, like GSM, are considered simple mobile subscriptions

According to Ericsson's report, there were 6.8 billion subscriptions in the first quarter of this year.

By the end of 2019, mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to account for more than 80 percent of all mobile subscriptions, compared to around 30 percent in 2013, Ericsson said.

Ericsson noted that mobile subscriptions have grown by 7 percent year-over-year, with 120 million net additions in the first quarter of 2014 alone.

Ericsson also expects the number of active cellular M2M devices will increase three to four times by 2019, up from 200 million at the end of 2013.

For more:
- see this Ericsson release 
- see this Ericsson report (PDF)

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