January 04, 2017 06:00 ET

New iGR study forecasts increasing number of global mobile connections through 2021

Mobile connections will include 5G connections by the end of the forecast

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - January 04, 2017) - 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).

iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry, has recently released its forecast for the number of mobile connections in the world over the next five years. 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. Also, due to the proliferation of mobile devices, including smartphones, 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," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR. "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."

iGR's new market study, Global Mobile Connections Forecast, 2016-2021: Increasing Connections into the 5G Era, forecasts the number of mobile connections for the next five years at both the global level and for each of the following regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific and Japan. The study also forecasts the number of connections according to their generation (2G, 3G, 4G, or 5G) and their technology, such as GSM, UMTS/HSPA, LTE and IMT-2020.

The following key questions are addressed in the new research study:

  • 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?

The information in this report will be valuable for:

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

The new report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website at Alternatively, contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or at for additional details.

About iGR

iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now in its seventeenth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile wearable devices; connected cars; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell and het-net architectures; mobile EPC and RAN virtualization; DAS; LTE; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

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