Wireless & Mobile Landscape

Global Mobile Connections Forecast, 2016 – 2021: Increasing Connections into the 5G Era

Mobile subscribers worldwide increasingly depend on a variety of mobile devices to stay connected. One mobile subscriber can use many mobile connections, as is evidenced by many countries’ current mobile penetration rates of more than 100 per cent. In addition to a mobile phone or smartphone, a subscriber can connect through a tablet or, increasingly, an embedded modem in a connected car or through a connected device in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The number of mobile connections in each region of the world is expected to grow at different rates, due to differences in the world’s regions’ underlying economies, the regions’ willingness and eagerness to adopt new technologies, and the current strength or weakness of their economies.

The worldwide population is expected to grow over the next five years from its current 7.3 billion people. Due to the proliferation of mobile devices, including mobile phones, tablets, connected cars, and other IoT devices, the global mobile connections penetration rate will rise from 104 percent in 2016 to 126 percent in 2021.

Aside from the increase in the number of connections, the other major change over the forecast period is the shift from 2G to 3G and 4G and then to 5G at the very end of the forecast. For example, in 2016, 2G and 3G connections comprised approximately 80 percent of mobile connections, but 4G connections will become predominant by the end of the forecast. For the first time, 5G connections appear in iGR’s Mobile Connections forecast, as IMT-2020 5G networks are expected to be commercially launched in select regions in 2021.


Key Questions Answered

  • How many wireless connections are there globally and in each major geographic region?
  • What is the split of those connections by technology type – both air interface and generation?
  • What are some of the key connection-related trends by technology, including GSM, CDMA, UMTS/HSPA, LTE, and IMT-2020 (5G) for the world and for each region?
  • What are the major markets for LTE both today and throughout the forecast period?
  • When does iGR expect LTE to become a significant portion of the various regions over the forecast period?
  • How many 5G connections does iGR forecast for 2021, the expected year of the first commercial launches of the IMT-2020 networks?

Who Should Read

  • Mobile operators
  • Device OEMs
  • Mobile infrastructure and equipment OEMs
  • Content providers and distributors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Executive Summary
  • Methodology
    • 5G Model Assumptions
  • Introduction
    • Regions
    • Defining 5G
  • Worldwide Overview
  • North America
  • Latin America and Caribbean
  • Europe
  • Middle East and Africa
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Japan
  • Definitions
    • General
    • Device Types
    • Network Technology
    • Regions
  • About iGR
    • Disclaimer

List of Tables

  • Table 1: Worldwide Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 2: Connections by Region, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 3: Share of Connections by Region, 2016-2021 (percent)
  • Table 4: Worldwide Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 5: Worldwide Connection by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 6: North America Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 7: North America Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 8: North America Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 9: Latin America Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 10: Latin America Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 11: Latin America Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 12: Europe Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 13: Europe Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 14: Europe Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 15: Middle East and Africa Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 16: Middle East and Africa Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 17: Middle East and Africa Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 18: Asia-Pacific Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 19: Asia-Pacific Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 20: Asia-Pacific Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 21: Japan Connections, Population, and Penetration, 2016-2021
  • Table 22: Japan Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Table 23: Japan Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)

List of Charts

  • Figure A: Global Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021
  • Figure 1: Worldwide Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 2: Connections by Region, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 3: Share of Connections by Region, 2016-2021 (percent)
  • Figure 4: Worldwide Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 5: Worldwide Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 6: North America Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 7: North America Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 8: North America Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 9: Latin America Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 10: Latin America Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 11: Latin America Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 12: Europe Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 13: Europe Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 14: Europe Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 15: Middle East and Africa Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 16: Middle East and Africa Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 17: Middle East and Africa Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 18: Asia-Pacific Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 19: Asia-Pacific Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 20: Asia-Pacific Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 21: Japan Connections and Population, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 22: Japan Connections by Technology Generation, 2016-2021 (000)
  • Figure 23: Japan Connections by Technology, 2016-2021 (000)

For additional information on the Global Mobile Connections Forecast, 2016-2021 market study, please contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or by email.