213 LTE networks launched in 81 countries

213 LTE networks launched in 81 countries

According to GSA, 213 operators have commercially launched LTE services in 81 countries.

113 networks were launched in the past 12 months, with several operators 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.

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 and studies.

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 percent 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 percent of commercially launched LTE networks. The next most popular contiguous bands are 2.6 GHz (band 7) used in over 31 percent of networks, followed by 800 MHz band 20 (over 11 percent).

Interest in the TDD mode is strengthening. 21 LTE TDD systems are commercially launched 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.

Alan Hadden, president, GSA said, “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.”

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