The latest update of the Evolution to LTE report from the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) has confirmed 194 operators have commercially launched LTE services in 75 countries worldwide.
LTE is mainstream and the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. 107 LTE networks launched commercial service in the past year. The number of countries with commercial LTE services expanded 70% in the same period.
443 operators in 130 countries are now investing in LTE, encompassing 391 firm network commitments (including networks which have launched, or are being deployed or planned) plus a further 52 operators engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.
Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said: “LTE is an industry success. We have raised our market outlook in view of the quickening pace of commitments and deployments. GSA forecasts there will be 260 commercially launched networks in 93 countries by end 2013.””
The majority of operators have deployed the FDD mode of the LTE standard. The most widely used band continues to be 1800 MHz (band 3) which is used in over 43% of commercially launched LTE networks. The next most popular contiguous bands are 2.6 GHz (band 7) used in 34% of networks, followed by 800 MHz band 20 (11%), and AWS band 4 (almost 9%).
LTE TDD is the best technology choice for operators with unpaired spectrum. 18 LTE TDD systems are commercially launched (within the total of 194) of which 50% have been deployed within combined LTE FDD and TDD networks, and this confirms a growing trend. GSA reported in its latest Status of the LTE Ecosystem report (5 July 2013) that 200 user devices supporting the TDD mode have been announced in the market.
LTE services are commercially available today in Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic. Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Paraguay, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE, Uganda, UK, Uruguay, USA, US Virgin Islands and Uzbekistan.
The report confirms how LTE is favoured as the mobile broadband technology of choice in emerging markets as well as developed countries. LTE deployments have achieved nationwide coverage in some countries.
LTE services are commercially available in 85% of Member States of the European Union. Preparations for its introduction in the remaining markets are well advanced.
Improvements in network capacity, speed and other performance capabilities enabled by LTE Category 4 deployments, multicarrier operation and LTE-Advanced features such as carrier aggregation have been introduced on a number of networks to further enhance user experiences of mobile broadband.
The Evolution to LTE report covers both FDD and TDD modes and is independently researched and published by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), providing a comprehensive update of the business drivers, objectives and targets for LTE – Long Term Evolution and the evolved packet system, standardized by 3GPP and now in commercial service and mainstream, including network operator commitments and deployment/launch plans, trials, the growing devices ecosystem, spectrum requirements, developments and allocations, industry commitments to LTE-Advanced, VoLTE, and more.