150 Commercial LTE Networks Now Launched in 67 Countries
4G Americas reports that 150 operators worldwide have now launched commercial LTE services in 67 countries, 50 of which were launched in the past 5 months.
"The surge of LTE mobile broadband deployments worldwide is unprecedented," stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "4G Americas expects more than 100 LTE network launches in 2013, and what is even more staggering, based on analyst prediction, is the number of anticipated LTE-Advanced launches this year, by operators investing further in the evolution of their LTE networks."
- 150 commercial LTE networks today; 256 commercial LTE networks expected by the end of 2013
- Nearly 450 total commitments to LTE deployment by network operators to date
- 63 million LTE connectionsat the end of 2012; more than a doubling of connections predicted in 2013 to 134 million LTE connections
- LTE connections are forecasted to approach 1 billion by end of 2017 (947 million)
- 22 commercial LTE networks deployed in Canada and U.S.
- 33 million LTE connections, representing 52 percent of global LTE connections at the end of 2012
- Forecast 58 million LTE connections at the end of 2013
- 13 commercial LTE networks in Antigua & Barbuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, México, Paraguay, Puerto Rico and Uruguay
- 93 thousand LTE connections at end of 2012
- Forecast 2 million LTE connections at the end of 2013
"While LTE is seeing phenomenal uptake worldwide, HSPA and HSPA+ are providing the backbone to the mobile broadband evolution, offering roaming with five global bands, more than 500 commercial deployments and more than 1 billion connections," commented Chris Pearson. "HSPA and HSPA+ will continue to provide the important foundation of global mobile broadband connectivity, ubiquitous fast data service and a future evolutionary path."
Just as HSPA has significant improvements through its' evolutionary steps, LTE will also evolve quickly to LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) through a planned fast upgrade cycle. Among the future technology features of LTE, in 3GPP Release 10, LTE-Advanced will offer Carrier Aggregation (CA), which provides for combining spectrum into wider spectrum channels as well as a more efficient use of disparate and underutilized spectrum. Although the majority of LTE connections today are in three spectrum bands worldwide -- 700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz -- LTE has been deployed in 20 separate bands to date. Other bands such as AWS 1700-2100 MHz are beginning to gain traction and will be widely deployed in the Americas region.