Saturday, March 17, 2012

GSA Confirms Over 300 Operators Are Investing in LTE

March 14, 2012: The GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) has published an update to its Evolution to LTE report which confirms 301 operators, which is over 50% higher than a year ago, have committed to commercial L TE network deployments or are engaged in trials, technology testing or studies. The report covers LTE FDD and LTE TDD system modes.

242 firm commercial LTE network deployments are either in deployment, commercially launched, or are planned in 81 countries. Another 59 operators in 14 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.

57 LTE operators have launched commercial services, which is 40 higher than reported by GSA one year ago. Commercial LTE services are now available in 32 countries: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, UAE, Uruguay, USA, and Uzbekistan

Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said: LTE services are being introduced at an accelerating rate. We have again raised our market outlook. GSA forecasts at least 128 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2012.

LTE commercial network launches per year:

2009 = 2 networks launched
2010 = 15 networks launched
2011 = 31 networks launched
2012 = 9 networks launched (to March 12, 2012)
GSA end 2012 forecast = 128 networks

Several markets are benefiting from a number of spectrum tenders and channel allocations recently made by regulators which have enabled planned LTE network deployments to proceed.

Deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly 1800 MHz (i.e. LTE1800) is also increasingly attractive for operators. Recent market developments are confirmed in the report. Fourteen LTE1800 networks are commercially launched, in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and South Korea. Several more LTE1800 networks are in deployment, justifying 1800 MHz as a prime band globally fo r LTE deployments.

The report also highlights growing international acceptance of the LTE TDD mode (LTE deployed in unpaired spectrum). Five LTE TDD networks are commercially launched: in Brazil, Japan, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Numerous deployments and trials are underway or planned in other markets across the world including Africa, Australia, China, India, Malaysia and other Asian markets, Europe, the Middle East, Russia, North and South America.

The Evolution to LTE report is researched and published by GSA and provides a concise update of the business drivers, objectives and targets for LTE: Long Term Evolution and the evolved packet system, including network operator commitments, deployments, launches, trials, the growing ecosystem including device availability, spectrum requirements and developments, Voice over LTE developments, standardization activities including LTE-Advanced, and more. 

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