The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) released on Thursday, 5 that the number of commercial LTE networks launched worldwide increased to 213. Only in the last 12 months, 113 networks were implemented. The total network is currently distributed in 81 countriesan increase from 37 countries in a year.
The association predicts there will be 260 commercial networks in 93 countries ready by the end of the year. Other carriers also plan to launch the technology, and in total there are 456 operators investing in LTE worldwide – including those who already have networks in operation. During the period, 1,064 were advertised 4G handsets by 111 manufacturers, representing an annual growth of 150%.
Most networks implemented in the FDD mode frequencies from 1800 MHz, 2.6 GHz and 800 MHz These are the most widely used network 43%, 31% and 11%, respectively. In TDD mode, 21 LTE networks were launched, and ten of them were implemented in the combination of LTE FDD and TDD.
Some highlights from GSA’s new report:
- 456 operators are investing in LTE in 134 countries. This is made up of 406 firm operator commitments to build LTE networks, 213 have commercially launched networks in 81 countries plus 50 additional operators engaged in various trials, studies, etc.
- 1,064 LTE user devices have been announced by 111 manufacturers, representing around 150% annual growth.
- The majority of LTE operators have deployed the FDD mode of the standard.
- The most widely used band in network deployments continues to be 1800 MHz (band 3) which is used in 43% of commercially launched LTE networks. The next most popular contiguous bands are 2.6 GHz (band 7) used in over 31% of networks, followed by 800 MHz band 20 (over 11%).
- 21 LTE TDD systems are commercially launched (within the total LTE launch count of 213) and 10 of them have been deployed within combined LTE FDD and TDD networks, which is a growing trend.
- GSA reported last month that 222 user devices support the TDD mode.
- There are almost 30 operators who have launched, or are planning enhancements to their networks including support for Category 4, multicarrier operation, and LTE-Advanced features such as carrier aggregation.
Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, stated: For the first time operators are reporting that they are selling more smartphones than any other device type. Our research confirmed that smartphones are the largest device category for LTE users. Operators need to invest to keep delivering the best mobile broadband experience, and compete.
Source: Converge! Network Digest