North America number one for global LTE roaming traffic

North America accounts for 70% of all LTE roaming traffic worldwide, according to a Syniverse study, while North America and Latin America account for 81% between them.


The study highlights the lack of inter-regional inbound and outbound LTE roaming outside of the Americas. It analyses regional data traffic across 1,000 mobile operators in North America, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, India and the Middle East,

Mary Clark, chief corporate relations officer and chief of staff at Syniverse, said: “Our study shows that the Americas today contribute the lion’s share of the world’s LTE data roaming traffic. We can attribute this to North American operators being among the first to launch LTE services at scale several years ago. In Latin America, meanwhile, operators are investing heavily in LTE as a wireless alternative to fixed infrastructure for broadband services.”

The study also found that 55% of the world’s LTE data terminates in Latin America, 78% of North America’s outbound LTE traffic is exported to Latin America, 12% to Europe, 8% to Asia Pacific and India, the Middle East and Africa each receive only 1%. Of North America’s inbound LTE traffic 61% is imported from Latin America, 24% from Europe, 11% from Asia Pacific and 4% from the Middle East and Africa. 

“LTE is on track to become the new standard for mobile voice and data globally,” added Clark. “Our study makes clear that LTE roaming is an established fixture between North America and Latin America. What’s concerning, however, is the relative lack of LTE roaming between the Americas and the other regions in the study – not just in emerging markets like India and the Middle East and Africa, but the developed markets of Europe and Asia Pacific as well.”

It goes on to find that 99% of Latin America’s LTE roaming is exported to North America and the remaining 1% to Europe, will a massive 99.9% is imported from North America. Overall the data suggests that global routes need to deploy a secure IPX backbone which is needed to accelerate the maturity of LTE networks and the road to 5G.  

“The opportunity for operators in the Americas is twofold,” continued Clark. “First, they must have sufficient IPX capacity to provide secure, high-quality LTE roaming between well-travelled destinations. Second, they must create innovative offers to encourage customers to use their device when traveling."