While most people have been talking about the next generation of mobile network technology, LTE has reached an important new milestone.

According to data from Syniverse, inter-regional LTE data roaming traffic has surpassed non-LTE data roaming traffic for the first time.

In the past year alone, LTE traffic rose to 54 percent of global outbound roaming traffic in 2017 – up from 42 percent in 2016.

John Wick, Senior Vice President at Syniverse, comments:

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“Syniverse’s data shows that, eight years after its first commercial launch, LTE is only now a truly mature global technology. The data underscores the need for the industry to more urgently prepare for 5G and the internet of things (IoT).

If the 5G use cases exciting the industry are to become a reality and ubiquitously adopted, steps need to be taken soon to strengthen and evolve the entire framework of interconnection, interoperability, security, and roaming that many of these new 5G services would rely on.

These considerations have delivered the foundation for previous technology generations and will be more important than ever for 5G to succeed.”

For its study, Syniverse analysed global roaming traffic records from its global IPX network that connects nearly 1,000 mobile operators. In 2017, LTE roaming volume grew 121 percent across six regions.

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In terms of concentration, the Americas represents 79 percent of the global LTE roaming volume.

“Our data points to the fact that while the rollout of LTE networks is advancing at a healthy rate, the mobile industry must accelerate its efforts to fully capture the 5G opportunity,” said Wick.

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“Industry attention has been focused on the most innovative technologies of 5G. However, just as crucial for 5G adoption is integrating technologies like IPX to ensure global connectivity and security, which have been important pillars in the success of the mobile industry.”

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