14 Jan 2013

GSA claims LTE roll-out is fastest ever

US Global mobile Suppliers Association, GSA, reveals that 145 operators have launched commercial services in 66 countries, with 97 networks commercially launched during 2012.

In its recent report - The Evolution to LTE - the US wireless industry association claims LTE-enabled mobile broadband services are available in 37 more countries, than 12 months ago.

At the same time, the number of LTE subscriptions increased almost 10-fold in the year to September 2012, reaching 44 million.

GSA also forecasts that 234 LTE networks will be commercially launched in 83 countries by the end of 2013.

“With 145 LTE networks commercially launched and over 560 user devices announced in the market supporting millions of customers worldwide, LTE technology is mainstream and firmly established as the fastest developing mobile system technology ever," says Alan Hadden, GSA President.

According to GSA, the majority of network deployments use the FDD mode of the LTE standard, operating in paired spectrum.

1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) has emerged as the dominant band for LTE network deployments in virtually all regions of the world.

The report confirms that 58 operators i.e. 40% of all commercial LTE operators, use 1800 MHz spectrum either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment, in 39 countries.

At least another 22 LTE1800 network deployments are in progress in the Asia Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Manufacturers including all the leading brands have ensured a wide choice of LTE user devices which can operate in 1800 MHz spectrum.

GSA earlier confirmed that 130 LTE products, almost 1 in 4, support LTE1800. Many additional operators are engaged in trials or studies, therefore

1800 MHz is likely to remain the prime band for LTE, and a key enabler for international roaming, in the foreseeable future.

The second most popular band in which LTE systems are deployed is 2.6 GHz (band 7).

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