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4G Connections to Increase at a CAGR of 69 Percent Between 2013 and 2018

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The worldwide population is expected to continue its steady growth over the next five years from its current 7.1 billion people. Worldwide wireless connections are also expected to grow from 6.5 billion connections in 2013 to reach almost 9 billion in 2018. Due to the proliferation of mobile devices, the global wireless penetration rate will rise from 91.8 percent in 2013 to 120 percent in 2018.

Aside from the increase in the number of connections, the other major change over the forecast period is the shift from 2G to 3G to 4G.

For example, in 2013, 2G connections comprised 63 percent of all mobile connections. As these 2G connections decline over the next five years, 3G connections will become predominant. Fourth generation technologies, primarily LTE, will also see rapid growth globally, increasing from just 2.7 percent of all connections in 2013.

This global forecast shows how people the world over are increasingly using mobile devices as their main voice and data communications tool. In less developed regions, a smartphone may be the user's only connection to the Internet, while in more mature markets individual subscribers use several mobile devices.

"Many developing markets will continue to rely on second generation technologies throughout the forecast period," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "However, in developed markets, such as the United States, Japan and South Korea, subscribers are shifting from third to fourth generation technologies, primarily LTE."

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