360 commercial LTE networks launched

360-commercial-LTE-networks-launched360 commercial LTE networks have been launched by operators in 124 countries, according to data released today by GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association).

96 LTE networks were launched in 2014. The most widely used spectrum for LTE network deployments continues to be 1800 MHz (3GPP band 3). 158 LTE1800 networks are commercially launched in 76 countries. 1800 MHz is used in almost 44 percent of LTE network deployments and also has the largest user devices ecosystem. Over 42 percent of LTE user terminals can operate in the 1800 MHz band.

The next most popular contiguous band for LTE deployments is 2.6 GHz (band 7) and is used in over 25 percent of networks. 800 MHz (band 20) is by far the most popular sub 1 GHz coverage choice for LTE and continued to gain share with almost 1 in 5 operators globally deploying networks using this spectrum.

While most operators deployed LTE networks in paired spectrum using the FDD mode, the LTE TDD mode (TD-LTE) for operators with unpaired spectrum had another year of growth in all regions, especially in China. 48 operators, which equates to more than 1 in 8 LTE operators, have commercially launched LTE service using the TDD mode.

Breakdown for 360 commercial LTE networks
312 operators deployed FDD mode only
31 operators deployed TDD mode only
17 operators deployed both FDD and TDD modes
Source: GSA

Alan Hadden, president, GSA said, “LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation deployment was the major trend in 2014. 49 operators have commercially launched LTE-Advanced in 31 countries. Taking account of additional deployments in progress, trials and studies, GSA calculates almost 30 percent of LTE operators are currently investing in LTE-Advanced technology.”

80 operators in 42 countries i.e. over 22 percent of operators are investing in VoLTE deployments, studies or trials, with 14 operators having launched HD voice service using VoLTE in 7 countries. Many more launches are expected in 2015

107 operators in total, i.e. almost 30 percent of LTE operators have launched, are deploying or are trialling LTE-Advanced technologies. 49 operators have commercially launched LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation in 31 countries, and this figure could double in 2015.

As per Q3, 2014 there were 373 million LTE subscriptions globally according to Ovum.

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