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GSA Confirms New Milestone for LTE with 300th Network Launch

300 operators have commercially launched LTE networks in 107 countries, according to data released today by GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) in its latest Evolution to LTE report.

Bulgaria, Taiwan and Vanuatu were the latest nations to experience commercial LTE mobile broadband service for the first time. LTE is available in 31 i.e. 40% more countries than a year ago. 

35 LTE networks have launched so far in 2014. The total number of commercial LTE networks is expected to exceed 350 before the end of this year. 

The most widely used spectrum for LTE deployments continues to be 1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) which is used in 129 networks either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment, in 67 countries. The next most popular contiguous bands are 2.6 GHz (band 7) used in 25.6% of networks in commercial service today, followed by 800 MHz (band 20) used in 14.3% of networks, and AWS (band 4) used in 8.3% of networks.

36 LTE TDD networks are commercially launched in 24 countries, meaning that around 1 in every 8 commercially launched LTE networks incorporate the TDD mode (sometimes referred to as TD-LTE). 23 operators have launched LTE service using only the TDD mode, and 13 operators have deployed both TDD and FDD modes in their networks. 264 operators have commercially launched using the FDD mode only. The vast majority of the LTE standard is identical for both FDD and TDD modes. Each mode has similar performance and benefits equivalently from economies of scale and evolution of the LTE standard.

The latest Evolution to LTE report also confirms:

* The growing number of operators using two or more frequency bands in LTE networks (lower bands for rural coverage and in-building penetration, higher bands for capacity)

* LTE networks capable of supporting 150 Mbps peak downlink (for Category 4 user devices) are commercially launched in at least 33 countries

* At least 20% of operators are investing in deploying LTE-Advanced technologies, which in the first phase is carrier aggregation. Support for 300 Mbps Category 6 user devices is commercial reality on several networks

* Increased focus on handling voice on LTE networks. 62 operators are investing in VoLTE studies, trials or deployments, including 8 operators in Asia and North America who have commercially launched HD voice service using VoLTE 

* The rapid pace of commercialization of the APT700 FDD band plan with increasing availability of devices including smartphones, and 3 commercially launched networks. This is the first time a technology (i.e. LTE) in one band is available almost globally 

* Growing interest in LTE Broadcast enabled by eMBMS technology to efficiently deliver multimedia content one-to-many. Many trials have been completed at major sporting events and the first commercial LTE Broadcast service has launched.

Alan Hadden, President of GSA, said: “LTE is the benchmark for mobile broadband globally. Investment in LTE-Advanced is a major trend in 2014.” 

There were 245.4 million LTE subscriptions by March 31, 2014 representing 135% annual growth. 40 million LTE subscriptions were added in Q1 2014 according to data from Informa Telecoms and Media.

The Evolution to LTE report (June 10, 2014) researched and published by GSA is available for registered site users to download via the link on

Registration page for new users:

Numerous charts, maps etc. confirming the progress of mobile broadband developments including LTE and HSPA are available on the website home page and

For a comprehensive overview on the LTE technology and specifications see THE LTE STANDARD, a white paper by Signals Research Group and available to download from the GSA home page

GSA reported in its March 2014 Status of the LTE Ecosystem report that 1,563 LTE user devices had been announced by 154 manufacturers. An update of the report and data will be published later this month.

About GSA

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 over 63,000 website registered users and using GAMBoD for detailed information about the mobile broadband devices ecosystem.




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