4G Americas Reports 150 Commercial LTE Networks in 67 Countries; 250+ LTE Networks Expected by End of 2013
150 LTE-Advanced Network Launches Possible by Year End
BELLEVUE, Wash. – February 19 2013
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.
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.
Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry, explained, “Using Carrier Aggregation, small pieces of spectrum, the leftovers, which alone are not sufficient to support an LTE channel, may be ‘glued’ together into a larger spectrum block suitable for LTE Advanced.” Gillott added, “iGR expects 150 deployments of LTE-Advanced by the end of this year, with operators using a variety of the 3GPP Release 10 features including Carrier Aggregation to gain additional benefits such as greater capacity, more intelligent network management, and more flexible deployment options.”
Additional information on 3GPP Release 10, LTE-Advanced and Carrier Aggregation is available in free white papers on the 4G Americas website.
About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to promote, facilitate and advocate for the deployment and adoption of the 3GPP family of technologies throughout the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the successful commercial rollout of 3GPP mobile broadband technologies across the Americas and their place as the No. 1 technology family in the region. The organization aims to develop the expansive wireless ecosystem of networks, devices, and applications enabled by GSM and its evolution to LTE. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org.