GSA: 360 LTE Commercial Networks Launched by End 2014
360 operators have commercially launched LTE networks and service in 124 countries, according to data released by GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association). Out of these, 96 LTE networks were launched in 2014. Out of 360 commercially deployed networks, 312 operators deployed FDD mode only, 31 operators deployed TDD mode only where as 17 operators deployed both FDD and TDD modes.
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% of LTE operators are currently investing in LTE-Advanced technology.
Overall 611 operators are investing in LTE across 174 countries. This comprises 566 operator network deployment commitments in 166 countries (of which 360 networks have launched), and 45 pre-commitments trials in a further 8 countries. The LTE commercial service footprint extended to a further 27 countries 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. The next most popular contiguous band for LTE deployments is 2.6 GHz (band 7) and is used in over 25% 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.
80 operators in 42 countries i.e. over 22% 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.