4G will reach a billion people by 2018, according to a report by ABI Research.
While it has taken four years for the service to cover 100 million people, ABI Research expects the next four years will bring it to a billion.
The market intelligence company argues that auctions for the LTE spectrum in major countries this year will help the proliferation of the networks.
In particular, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will hold an auction on 25 February, potentially bringing 4G to their population of over a billion.
Additionally, the US’s FCC is currently holding an auction for AWS-3 spectrum, while the French government has recently allowed the 700 Mhz band to be used for telecoms services.
The report also notes that Western Europe has the largest number of operators regionally, but North America boasts the highest population coverage at 7.8%.
"As heavy subscribers’ data traffic growth has exploded, ABI Research anticipates fierce competition for more spectrum, as well as an active migration to VoLTE and higher data modulation schemes such as LTE and LTE-Advanced, which has higher spectral efficiency," comments Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director of Core Forecasting.
The company also recently forecast that 5G subscribers would hit 100 million by 2025.