GSA: Operators commit to deploy LTE networks in 150 countries
May 6, 2014: Firm commitments to deploy LTE networks have been made in 150 countries by 497 network operators, according to findings from research by the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) and published in its latest Evolution to LTE report, which is released today.
288 LTE networks have now commercially launched in 104 countries.
The majority of LTE operators have deployed the FDD mode of the standard. The most widely used spectrum in network deployments continues to be 1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) which is used in 43% of deployments. 124 LTE operators have commercially launched with 1800 MHz spectrum in 64 countries, either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment. 1800 MHz is the prime band for LTE deployments worldwide, and will greatly assist international roaming for mobile broadband. GSA recently confirmed that over half of newly launched user terminals support operation in the 1800 MHz band, which now has the largest device ecosystem.
The next most popular contiguous bands are 2.6 GHz (band 7) used in 26.7% of networks in commercial service today, followed by 800 MHz (band 20) used in 13.5% of networks, and AWS (band 4) used in 8.3% of networks.
GSA estimates there were 240 million LTE subscribers worldwide at the end of Q1 2014.
Alan Hadden, President of GSA, said: 108 LTE networks have been launched in the past year, coverage is rapidly expanding, and LTE subscriptions growth is impressive. More operators are preparing to introduce voice service for their LTE customers with VoLTE, and investments in LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation technology is now the main trend.
36 LTE TDD networks are commercially launched in 24 countries, including three networks in China. According to the GSA report, 1 in every 8 commercially launched LTE networks incorporates the TDD mode (sometimes referred to as TD-LTE), and momentum is growing.
23 operators launched LTE service using only the TDD mode, while 13 operators deployed both TDD and FDD modes in their networks. 252 operators have commercially launched using FDD mode only.
The two modes of LTE (FDD, TDD) each have similar performance and benefit equivalently from evolution of the LTE standard. The commercial benefits arising from LTEâs global economies of scale can be leveraged in FDD and TDD network deployments and user terminal production, and suppliers are increasingly building in support for both FDD and TDD modes in their LTE systems and devices products. LTE is one standard, developed by organizations from all over the world working within the framework of 3GPP. It is truly a global standard, having been designed to operate in both paired and unpaired spectrum bands with a minimum amount of additional complexity.
For a comprehensive overview see THE LTE STANDARD, a new white paper by Signals Research Group which is available to download from the GSA home page http://www.gsacom.com
The Evolution to LTE report (May 6, 2014) is available for registered site users to download via the link on http://www.gsacom.com
Registration page for new users: http://www.gsacom.com/user/register
Numerous charts, maps etc. confirming the progress of mobile broadband developments including LTE and HSPA are available on the website home page and http://www.gsacom.com/news/statistics
GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) represents GSM/EDGE/WCDMA-HSPA/LTE suppliers, providing trusted reports, facts, and information explaining market developments, trends, influencing policy. Member benefits include reaching key audiences via 63,000 website registered users and using GAMBoD for detailed information about the mobile broadband devices ecosystem.
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