According to a study by the association GSMA, published on Wednesday, 4G phone networks will cover more than a third of the world population by the end of this year, with China beating the US as the largest market for this technology. “35% of the world population will have 4G coverage by the end of the year, compared to last year’s 27%,” said the association in a statement. GSMA groups together more than 800 operators.
The speed with which the 4G network is being deployed (over 350 operators were using a 4G network at the end of January this year) is being matched by increasing use of the technology. 4G made its commercial debut in December 2009. The number of 4G connections more than doubled between late 2013 and late 2014, rising from 200 million to 490 million.
Or to put it another way, 7% of all mobile connections transited via 4G networks at the end of 2014, compared to 3% in 2013. The association estimates that 4G connections will rise to a 12% of all connections by the end of the year, and will exceed 30% by 2020.