4G will overtake 3G technologies in global revenue generation this year, accounting for 49% of revenue from a 25% share of year end subscriptions, according to a new forecast from Strategy Analytics.

The report predicts 4G revenue growth will be offset by a 21% decline in 2G service revenue and 19% decline in 3G revenue in 2016.

Phil Kendall, Executive Director Wireless Operator Strategies says, “the advanced markets of the USA, Japan, and South Korea will see the vast majority of their revenue come from 4G LTE services this year, though China will also make a significant contribution. Overtaking the USA to become the world’s largest 4G market in Q3 2015, China is the envy of other developing markets with over half of its 2016 revenue projected to come from 4G LTE.”

Key findings include:
Wireless service revenue will peak in 2019 at $882 billion, just 3% above the level reached in 2015 as competitive and regulatory pressures undermine growth opportunities from new connected devices.

The 4G share of 2016 service revenue will range from 10% in Middle East & Africa to 79% in North America, with Japan (82%) and South Korea (90%) at similarly high levels.

Starting 2016 with 1.1 billion connections, 4G LTE networks will support 1.9 billion connections by the end of the year, and will grow to 5.6 billion by the end of 2022, 62% of all user-linked wireless subscriptions.