LTE roaming traffic between Asia-Pacific and other regions grew 317% in the past year, according to Syniverse.
The mobile technology and business services provider noted that inter-regional 4G roaming traffic (54%) has surpassed non-LTE data roaming traffic this year for the first time.
But with older technologies such as 3G still accounting for the majority of traffic, mobile operators will need to urgently focus on enhanced network capability before making the jump to 5G, according to Syniverse SVP and general manager John Wick.
“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,” he said.
“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 expects that Asia-Pacific will become the largest region for IoT revenue, reaching $386 billion by 2025, he said.
But achieving this growth potential will require operators to lay the 4G connectivity foundation to ensure interoperability between 5G networks and other advanced services later.