GSMA estimates that at least a third of the global population will have 4G connectivity by the end of 2015. At the end of 2014, almost half a billion 4G connections had made. That’s tremendous growth given the scale of resources required and the fact that it wasn’t until December 2009 that the first commercial 4G connections went live. In line with that, a new report from ABI Research forecasts that 4G will remain unstoppable for the next five years.
Whereas increased competition will push ARPU (Average revenue per user) for mobile operators down generally, ARPU on 4G networks is expected to stay up and way above that from 3G networks. Thanks to rich content services like HD video, lossless music (streaming) and games (online), data service revenues are expected to stay up. Annual global 4G data usage is expected account for close to 80% of total data traffic. In case you care about the specifics, 4G data usage will top 224.7 exabytes.
While the shift to 4G networks is happening everywhere, the next generation of networks, 5G, is expected to be commercialized by the year 2020.