Few days ago, the research firm Wireless Intelligence announced that there were more than 160 LTE networks in 70 countries, and that the number is expected to explode even further by December 2017. At that point, projections show that there will be more than 400 LTE networks across 120 countries. As of May 2013, number of the LTE connections globally has surpassed the 100 million figure, and by December 2017, that number could come very close to an incredible 1 billion connections.

Mobile World Live had an opportunity to ask Joss Gillet, a senior analyst at Wireless Intelligence, about these results and expectations, and he said that ?Around 100 LTE networks have launched last year globally and as many are expected to launch this year. Even if the 4G LTE global market is still in its infancy, mobile operators worldwide are eager to replicate the success stories seen in the US where operators have already started turning the page over the 2G chapter.? Gillet expects that the 1 billion milestone will be achieved in the first half of 2018.

Wireless Intelligence claims that the growth is driven by the U.S., Canada, South Korea, Japan and Australia that, when combined, claim over 90% of the global LTE connections. While the rest of the world has some ?4G LTE catching up? to do, the research company provides a clean chart with their current numbers: