4G to account for 60 percent of mobile connections in Europe

4G will account for 60 percent of mobile connections in Europe by 2020 from 20 percent today.

The number of unique mobile subscribers in Europe will reach 450 million by 2020, representing 81 percent of population, from 430 million by the end of 2015, representing 79 percent of population. Mobile penetration in Europe will be nearly ten percentage points higher than North America, said GSMA.

The GSMA report does not talk about future of mobile technologies like 3G and investment in 4G networks in the coming years.

4G network coverage in Europe will reach 95 percent in 2020 from 80 percent in early 2015. The use of music and video streaming services are some of the growth drivers. Smartphones will account for 76 percent of connections by 2020 from 60 percent this year.

4G customers are using more than double the amount of data as 3G users, according to many European telecom network operators. Revenue from mobile data services is helping many operators return to service revenue growth after periods of negative growth.

The average monthly data usage for Western Europe is set to grow from less than 1GB per month in 2014 to nearly 6GB in 2019, a 45 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to Cisco.

The number of cellular M2M connections in Europe will grow from 68 million this year to 182 million by 2020, a 22 percent CAGR. There is also growing interest in the use of low-power, wide-area (LPWA) solutions, which will play an important role in connecting a range of IoT devices.

“Europe’s mobile operators have invested heavily in 4G over the past few years despite challenging macroeconomic and regulatory conditions, and we expect investments in 4G deployments, capacity and spectrum to be sustained for the remainder of the decade,” said Alex Sinclair, acting director general and chief technology officer at the GSMA.

Mobile industry’s contribution to European GDP will increase from EUR 500 billion in 2014 to EUR 600 billion by 2020. The growth driver will be the increasing mobile operator investment in 4G networks and services.

[email protected]