GSA: 51 LTE networks launched so far in 2014
Globally, 51 LTE networks have been launched so far in 2014, according to a recent report from GSA. The total number of commercial LTE networks is expected to be more than 350 by the end of this year. Overall, 318 operators have commercially launched LTE networks and service in 111 countries.
Israel, Madagascar and the Northern Mariana Islands are amongst the recent countries to have commercial LTE service for the first time.
66 operators in 35 countries are investing in VoLTE studies, trials or deployments, including 10 operators in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the USA who have commercially launched HD voice service using VoLTE. GSA recently confirmed 92 models of smartphones (including carrier and frequency variants) support VoLTE.
LTE networks capable of supporting 150 Mbps peak downlink (for Category 4 user devices) are commercially launched in at least 36 countries
69 operators, i.e. over 21%, are deploying LTE-Advanced technologies, 16 operators have launched carrier aggregation, including 4 operators whose networks support 300 Mbps Category 6 user devices.
The most widely used spectrum in LTE networks is 1800 MHz, known as 3GPP band 3. LTE1800 is now commercially launched in 70 countries by 144 operators. Over 40% of devices can operate in the 1800 MHz band.
GSA estimates that the total number of LTE subscriptions is rapidly approaching the 300 million milestone. There were 245.4 million LTE subscriptions by March 31, 2014.