BuddeComm Intelligence Report - 4G LTE and WiFi - Global Trends and Statistics


In 2018 there is still vast room for growth for 4G LTE as it only accounts for around 35% of mobile technology market share globally. LTE technology is expected to carry most of the mobile traffic for at least the next decade - alongside a slow transition to 5G.

4G LTE has represented an important growth opportunity for the mobile industry, and many operators around the world have invested heavily in rolling out the technology. In a twelve-month period alone; LTE technology uptake grew by over 40% - at the expense of other technologies like 3G.

LTE was in fact, was one of fastest technology migrations ever seen.

WiFi has also established itself as the quiet achiever in the mobile broadband arena. Today, most heavy broadband use of smartphones and tablets takes place in homes, offices, airports, schools, universities, internet cafes and so forth - and in most of these situations the WiFi networks are used for this, not the mobile networks.

Key developments linked to the next generation networks, based on wireless technologies such as LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi as well as fibre broadband technology, will include M2M and IoT infrastructure, facilitating the development of smart homes, buildings and cities.

This BuddeComm Intelligence report provides unique and valuable information on 4G LTE and WiFi technologies including industry developments, regional comparisons and global statistics. For information on 5G, please see separate BuddeComm report: BuddeComm Intelligence Report - 5G Global Trends and Leading Regional Countries 2018.

Key developments:

  • By 2025 4G/LTE market share will have increased to around 2/3 of the mobile subscriber base.
  • Western Europe has the largest market share of Wi-Fi hotspots - however another region is expected to overtake it by around 2021.
  • China has one the largest LTE markets in the world.

Table of Contents

  • Market analysis

    • Global LTE subscriptions and deployments
    • Regional LTE observations
  • Global VoLTE overview

    • Case study: VoLTE in India
  • LTE and spectrum use

  • Other LTE trends

  • Global WiFi market

    • Wi-Fi hotspots
    • Homespots
    • Venue Wi-Fi
    • Other Wi-fi trends
      • Other short-range technologies
  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Global LTE subscribers – 2011 – 2022
  • Table 2 – Global LTE network growth – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 3 – LTE penetration by region – Q1 2017; Q4 2017
  • Table 4 – Global VoLTE subscribers – 2017, 2022
  • Table 5 – Global number of public Wi-Fi hotspots – 2015; 2016; 2020; 2021
  • Table 6 – Global number of public and private homespots – 2015; 2020
  • Table 7 – Global Bluetooth device shipments– 2012 – 2021

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – LTE penetration by region – Q4 2017

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – LTE definition
  • Exhibit 2 – VoLTE history: data first, voice second
  • Exhibit 3 – Fon
  • Exhibit 4 – Case Study – Airline Lounges
  • Exhibit 5 – Bluetooth SIG

Related Reports

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Licence Information

Focus Report Profile


Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Smart Infrastructure
Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 36

Status Current

Last updated 4 Jun 2018
Update History

Lead Analyst: Kylie Wansink

Contributing Analyst:

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