At the end of March 2012, Latin America had 88 million HSPA mobile broadband connections, representing an annualized growth of 80%, reported 4G Americas. The industry trade organization also noted that of wireless connections of all types reached a total of 649 million in Latin America with 3GPP technologies representing a 95% market share (618 million).
Compared to global numbers, Latin America has a lot of room to grow. During the first quarter of 2011, global wireless connections surpassed 6 billion with 90% using 3GPP technologies, according to 4G Americas. For mobile broadband, HSPA and LTE connections reached nearly 989 million worldwide, and LTE connections are expected to reach 44 million by the end of 2012, growing to more than 1 billion by end of 2017.
The industry trade organization also stated that there are six LTE commercial networks in four Latin America countries, while there are 41 HSPA+ networks in 22 countries. Last week, RCR Wireless News posted an in-depth feature report about the LTE roll out across Latin America. Based on interviews with carriers, vendors and analysts, the feature report describes the current situation and expected future steps for deploying the next generation of telecommunications throughout Latin America.
In a statement, Erasmo Rojas, 4G Americas’ director of Latin America and the Caribbean, noted that Latin American mobile users continue to demand high speed data services; mobile broadband penetration climbed from 8% to 15% during the last year, and mobile data penetration is expected to reach 30 percent by the end of 2013.