4G spectrum is currently available in 67 countries.
The UK was among one of the countries off to a slow start in the race for LTE, but O2, Three and O2 are among new 4G providers, which will see them soon battle for supremacy against regional pioneer EE.
Until the aforementioned services become live, however, trade body 4G Americas reports that 150 operators in 67 countries are offering LTE, with 50 networks delivering the spectrum within the past five months. The number is only set to grow, reaching 256 networks by the end of this year, while 450 are committed to the tech.
Global LTE connections reached 63m by the end of 2012, and the figure is set to hit 134m in 2013 before climbing to the hallowed one billion mark in 2017. North America accounted for 52 per cent of all connections by the close of 2012.
Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas, said: "The surge of LTE mobile broadband deployments worldwide is unprecedented. 4G Americas expects more than 100 LTE network launches in 2013, and what is even more staggering, based on analyst prediction, is the number of anticipated LTE-Advanced launches this year, by operators investing further in the evolution of their LTE networks.
"HSPA and HSPA+ will continue to provide the important foundation of global mobile broadband connectivity, ubiquitous fast data service and a future evolutionary path."
Despite the growth of the market, Ofcom reports that the UK 4G auction fell short of the target by £1 billion.