LTE connections in Latin America reached 11.76 million in 2014, according to a report published by Dataxis. This figure will grow 1500 per cent by 2018, reaching 187.8 million connections.
Data includes combined LTE connections in the region’s seven largest markets: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
Colombia, Brazil and Mexico were pioneers in launching LTE services in the region. 4G technology arrived in Latin America in 2012 and began to gain traction in 2014, driven by FIFA World Cup in Brazil. That year, Brazil accounted for 57.5 per cent of total LTE connections in the analysed markets.
Dataxis projects that, by 2018, Brazil will continue to lead the 4G LTE market, although its market share of total regional connections will decline to 32.8 per cent, followed by Mexico with 29.1 per cent and Colombia with 24.6 per cent.
At the end of 2014, Latam’s seven main countries recorded close to 592 million mobile lines. In turn, the mobile market accounted for 69 per cent of total telecom revenues.
In 2014 4G LTE connections represented 2 per cent of total mobile lines in the countries analyzed. That ratio will grow to 29.7 per cent by 2018, while 3G technology will continue to lead with 65.8 per cent market share.
In turn, Dataxis believes that, by 2018, 98.3 per cent of LTE users will be connected via 4G smartphones, and only the remaining 1.7 per cent will connect using data-only devices.
Although 4G technology will experience a significant growth in the coming years, in the short term it still needs an alternative network to deliver voice services, as the deployment of voice over LTE (VoLTE) is at an early stage, even in the most developed markets.
By 2018, Dataxis believes that 2G technology will survive to support M2M services and voice services in rural areas.