Press Release

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) today revealed that 5G subscriptions doubled in the second quarter of 2020 to reach at least 137.7 million globally (representing 1.5% of the entire global mobile market). As subscriptions to GSM and W-CDMA fall, GSA and Omdia forecast that, by the end of 2025, 5G will account for nearly 30% of the global market (at 3.03 billion subscriptions); while LTE will still be dominant at 53.5% of all global mobile subscriptions, the LTE market is forecast to start to decline slowly from 2023 as customers migrate to 5G.

LTE subscriptions now account for 60.4% of all global mobile subscriptions, with nearly 800 million LTE subscriptions added in the preceding 12 months – a 16.7% YoY growth. LTE is expected to reach its peak point in terms of technology market share at the end of 2021 (at 63.3%), and to reach its peak point in terms of subscriber numbers at the end of 2022 (at 6.07 billion subscribers). The subscriber data and forecasts were collated by Omdia, the new global technology research firm established in 2019 with the combination of the Informa Tech’s research brands (Ovum, Heavy Reading, and Tractica) and the acquired IHS Markit technology research portfolio.

“Against a backdrop of a challenging year for businesses, economies and societies globally, we’ve continued to see more spectrum allocated to 5G, more networks deployed, and more devices become commercially available – a momentum is mirrored in the growth in 5G subscriptions,” said Joe Barrett, President, GSA. “We have already seen 5G deployed at a quicker pace than we saw in the early days of 4G, and these subscriber forecasts further reinforce our view that 5G will be the fastest deployed mobile technology ever.”

The LTE and 5G Market Growth and Forecasts summary data, including a regional breakdown of LTE subscribers and forecast share of mobile subscriptions by technology is available for free download for registered users from Detailed data on the status of 4G and 5G spectrum, networks and devices is available for GSA Members and Associates via the GSA GAMBoD database.

The latest global subscription and forecast data was provided to GSA by Omdia in September 2020 and covers the period up to the end of 2025. The latest report charts over 10 years of global subscription data for mobile services, LTE and now 5G, and shows the changing role of LTE within the global market, from its launch to the present day.