The growth was measured by analyzing the year-over-year trends in roaming traffic traversing Syniverse’s global platform. In 2017, LTE made up 26% of the roaming traffic out of Asia Pacific while, in 2018, LTE now accounts for 43% of the traffic.
While Syniverse’s analysis illustrates a strong growth rate for 4G LTE usage, it also reveals that the majority (57%) of roaming traffic exported from Asia Pacific in 2018 is still traversing older network technologies, like 3G. This points to the urgent need for service providers to increasingly focus on enhanced network capability before Asia Pacific can move forward with global rollouts of new technologies, like 5G, that will fuel the future of smart cities and internet of things (IoT).
“Asia Pacific is a hotbed of innovation for 5G with trials already underway, but interconnectivity and roaming between countries and regions at the 4G LTE level will be critically important in driving 5G uptake at scale in this diverse region,” said John Wick, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Syniverse. “4G LTE is the preliminary technology foundation that the region needs to implement prior to achieving the smart city and IoT capability that 5G connectivity will enable with data speeds 100 times faster than are capable today with legacy technologies.”
The GSMA projects Asia Pacific to become the largest region of IoT revenue, reaching $386 billion by 2025. To reach this potential, it must first lay the preliminary, all-important 4G connectivity foundation now to ensure interoperability between 5G networks and other advanced services later.
“As with transitions from 2G to 3G and 4G, Syniverse has a long history of helping customers transform networks and bridge between the ‘now’ and ‘next generation’ technologies,” said Mike O’Brien, Group Vice President, Strategy. “Syniverse’s global network makes this ongoing evolution possible, and we look forward to helping the world connect while capturing the full value of 5G and ensuring seamless transitions from one generation to the next.”
Syniverse Roaming Usage Analysis Highlights:
- Globally, LTE usage has finally turned the corner with inter-regional roaming traffic (54 percent) surpassing non-LTE data roaming traffic in 2018.
- In Asia Pacific, LTE traffic grew by 317% since 2017, accounting for 43% of its traffic to other regions (26% in 2017).
- North America received 52% of all the “exported” traffic coming out of Asia in 2018 (down from 64% in 2017). This is followed by: