LTE ecosystem Is Now 1000+ Device Strong

The global LTE ecosystem now supports 1,064 user devices (FDD and TDD bands) from 111 manufacturers, including frequency and carrier variants. The LTE devices have grown from 666 devices in January, 2013 to 1,064 in August, 2013.

647 new LTE user devices have been announced since July 2012 with the number of manufacturers increasing by 66 percent during this period. Smartphones continue as the largest LTE device category with 360 devices followed by routers/personal hotspots and dongles. Tablets contribute around 79 and notebooks contribute 30 for LTE ecosystem. Leading brands support LTE smartphones in majority of bands and LTE support is becoming more common in mid-tier phones.

LTE Ecosystem : Break-up of 1,064 LTE user devices
Smartphones – 360
Routers/Personal Hotspots – 332
Dongles – 157
Modules – 98
Tablets – 79
Notebooks – 30
Femto Cell – 6
PC Card – 1
Camera – 1

Most of the 1,064 LTE devices operate in the FDD mode with majority of devices in Band 1, Band 3, Band 4, Band 7, Band 12, Band 13, Band 17 and Band 20. LTE FDD devices are available in all form factors including smartphones, dongles, routers, personal hotspots, embedded modules and mobile tablets.

Most popular FDD bands (as per number of devices)
2600 MHz (Band 7) – 362 devices
1800 MHz (Band 3) – 322 devices
800 MHz (Band 20) – 265 devices
700 MHz (Bands 12, 17) – 265 devices
2100 MHz (Band 1) – 247 devices
700 MHz (Band 13) – 231 devices
AWS (Band 4) – 229 devices
850 MHz (Band 5) – 142 devices
900 MHz (Band 8) – 128 devices
1900 MHz (Band 2) – 104 devices
Band 25 – 68 devices
Band 12 – 33 devices
Band 14 – 13 devices

Support for the LTE TDD mode (sometimes referred to as TD-LTE) is also very significant. The number of LTE TDD terminals has more than tripled over the past year. 222 devices can operate using the LTE TDD mode, supporting the growing number of operators who are using unpaired spectrum.

LTE TDD devices are available in all form factors including smartphones, dongles, routers, personal hotspots, embedded modules, and mobile tablets. Bands 38 (2.6 GHz) and 40 (2.3 GHz) have the largest choice of terminals. Terminals are also available in growing numbers for use on bands 39, 41, 42 and 43.

Band 40 or 2.3 GHz, India’s defacto BWA band has around 147 devices. With China Mobile and Reliance Jio planning to launch services in FY 2013-14, the number of LTE devices will be bound to increase in next one year.

Most popular TDD bands (as per number of devices)
2600 MHz (Band 38) – 164 devices
2300 MHz (Bband 40) – 147 devices
1900 MHz (Band 39) – 49 devices
2600 MHz (Band 41) – 49 devices
3500 MHz (Band 42,43) – 13 devices

730 LTE devices can operate on HSPA networks, including 343 products that are designed to operate on 42 Mbps DC-HSPA+ systems. 243 LTE devices can operate on EV-DO systems.

1800 MHz continues to be the most popular spectrum for LTE deployments, which is used in the majority of commercially launched networks globally. GSA expects that 1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) will continue as the prominent band for LTE network deployments for the foreseeable future.

Alan Hadden, president, GSA said, “The choice of multi-band devices is continuously improving, enabling improved economies of scale and opportunities for international roaming for LTE-enabled services. More device manufacturers are entering the market.”

GSA has also released an Interim Evolution to LTE report confirming that 202 LTE networks are commercially launched in 77 countries. 10 operators commercially launched LTE service in the past 8 weeks.

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