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GSA confirms 213 LTE networks launched, operators focused on user experience

by david.nunes

GSA confirms 213 LTE networks launched, operators focused on user experience

September 5, 2013: The latest update of the Evolution to LTE report from GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms the increasing pace of LTE rollouts and service launches worldwide, and growing smartphone usage.

213 operators have commercially launched LTE services in 81 countries. 113 networks were launched in the past 12 months, with several recently bringing fast and dependable broadband Internet connectivity for the first time to rural communities, island territories, and to developing markets throughout the world.   LTE is serving millions of customers in 37 more countries than a year ago.

The statistics are impressive:

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.

From amongst the committed operators, 213 have commercially launched networks in 81 countries. GSA forecasts there will be 260 commercial LTE networks in 93 countries by end 2013.

Last week GSA confirmed 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%).

Interest in the TDD mode is strengthening, and global. 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.

The report includes a list of 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. These and other features enable operators to focus on delivering and enhancing the customer experience of mobile broadband.

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.”

LTE-enabled tablets are also growing in popularity, with 154% growth in the number of products YoY.

Growing usage of smartphones combined with rapidly expanding LTE coverage are the main drivers for operators now introducing voice for LTE users. The Evolution to LTE report confirms that the first wave of VoLTE service launches and deployments is well underway.

The Evolution to LTE report (September 5, 2013) is a free download for registered site users – log in and follow the link to http://www.gsacom.com/gsm_3g/info_papers

Registration page for new users: http://www.gsacom.com/user/register

Numerous charts, maps etc. confirming the progress of mobile broadband developments including LTE are also available on the home page and at www.gsacom.com/news/statistics


GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) represents GSM/EDGE, WCDMA-HSPA and LTE suppliers, providing reports, facts, analysis and information explaining market developments and trends. GSA-organized seminars facilitate enhanced dialog between operators, members and developer communities. Through its website GSA supports a global community which includes 59,000 registered users.

Website: www.gsacom.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/gsacom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Global-mobile-Suppliers-Association-GSA/123462771012551

GSA LinkedIN Group www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=2313721

LTE1800 LinkedIN Group www.linkedin.com/groups?=&gid=3129390

LTE TDD LinkedIN Group www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3978061

LTE User Devices LinkedIN Group: www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4759091

5G LinkedIN Group: www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=5089259

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