300 Commercial LTE Network Launches Worldwide

300 Commercial LTE Network Launches

A recent GSA report confirms 300 commercial LTE network launches in 107 countries. 35 4G 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. Recent commercial LTE launches include Bulgaria, Taiwan and Vanuatu. LTE is now available in 31 i.e. 40% more countries than a year ago.

These numbers include 36 commercial LTE TDD networks in 24 countries. 23 operators have launched LTE service using only the TDD mode, and 13 operators have deployed both TDD and FDD modes in their networks. 

1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) continues to be the most widely used spectrum for LTE deployments and 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, followed by 800 MHz (band 20) used in 14.3% of networks, and AWS (band 4) used in 8.3% of networks.

In addition, GSA also reports that 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.

Earlier this month GSA confirmed that HD voice service has been commercially launched by 109 mobile operators in 73 countries. HD voice service is now commercially available on 100 HSPA networks, 8 LTE networks (using VoLTE), and 9 GSM networks (some operators offer HD voice on more than one radio access technology platform).

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