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Number of LTE users surpasses 1 billion

LTE networks are growing in popularity, a new report by 4G-Reports suggests. Not only has the number of users surpassed one billion, but the number of networks also seems to be growing, while prices are declining, quite rapidly.

According to the Global LTE Pricing Tariff Tracker for Q4 2015, total number of users reached 1.05 billion.

Unsurprisingly China, the US and Japan account for almost two-thirds of all subscribers.

According to the same report, there are now 428 active networks, operating in 155 countries around the globe. This represents an increase from June 2015, whew we had 393 LTE networks in 138 countries.

As LTE services continue their rapid evolution, 4G-Reports highlights some of the key trends, including the introduction of LTE-A services (theoretically higher uploads and downloads), the expansion of LTE coverage (for example, Malaysia's DiGi now covers 65 per cent of the population), and the launch of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) services. New LTE Pre Pay prices have been seen, as well as the drop in prices for Post Pay plans.

The report ends by saying that LTE services have grown rapidly, and have become a mass-market service as of lately, especially as they hit the 1 billion users mark. However, the market is still far from being saturated, and MNOs (mobile network operators) need to continue improving penetration rates for the Pre Pay user segments.

This is especially important for South America, Asia, India and Africa regions, the report suggests.