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Global 4G Revenue Surges, Set To Overtake 3G This Year

Global 4G revenue is poised to overtake 3G this year, with both 3G and 2G on the decline, according to a new Strategy Analytics report.

Strategy forecasts that 4G revenue will increase 35 per cent to US$426 billion, accounting for 49 per cent of revenue from a 25 per cent share of year-end subscriptions.

The growth in 4G, meanwhile, will be offset by a 21 per cent decline in 2G service revenue and a 19 per cent decline in 3G revenue.

“The advanced markets of the USA, Japan and South Korea will see the vast majority of their revenue come from 4G LTE services this year, though China will also make a significant contribution,” Strategy executive director wireless operator strategies Phil Kendall commented.

“Overtaking the USA to become the world’s largest 4G market in Q3 2015, China is the envy of other developing markets, with over half of its 2016 revenue projected to come from 4G LTE.”

Starting 2016 with 1.1 billion connections, 4G LTE networks will support 1.9 billion connections by the end of the year, growing to 5.6 billion by the end of 2022, comprising 62 per cent of all user-linked wireless subscriptions, Strategy found.

Region-by-region, the 4G share of service revenue this year will range sharply, from 10 per cent in the Middle East and Africa to 79 per cent in North America, with Japan (82 per cent) and South Korea (90 per cent) also recording high levels.

“Commercial 5G services will begin in a small number of markets in 2020, mainly in the USA and advanced Asian markets,” Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Strategy director wireless operator strategies, commented.

“We forecast that user-linked 5G connections will grow from 2 million in 2020 to 116 million in 2022, with modems and routers driving early volume.”

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