There were 635 million Long Term Evolution subscriptions active worldwide at the end of March 2015, said Alan Hadden, Global mobile Suppliers Association VP, representing a gain of 382 million LTE subscriptions in 2014.
GSA forecasts the market will grow to over one billion LTE subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2015.
A similar forecast was issued by ABI Research. There will be nearly 1.37 billion 4G LTE subscribers worldwide by the end of 2015, up from nearly 650 million in 2014, ABI Research estimates.
LTE subscriptions increased by 123.7 million in the first quarter of 2015, 58 percent more than the 77.9 million 3G/WCDMA-HSPA subscriptions added in the same quarter.
The Asia-Pacific region increased its share of global LTE subscriptions to 49 percent, compared to 38 percent in 2013, according to GSA.
North America remains the second largest LTE market, though its share fell to 28 percent of global LTE subscriptions, compared with 45 percent in 2013.
China had 162 million LTE subscriptions in the first quarter.
Europe’s LTE share has reached 16 percent. The Latin America and Caribbean region has over 16 million 4G/LTE subscriptions and is over 13 million higher than a year ago.
The Middle East grew at 240 percent rates. Russia grew at a 400-percent rate.
ABI Research also forecasts that the LTE subscriber base will exceed 3.5 billion by 2020, growing at a 21 percent compound average growth rate.