This latest update of the GSA Evolution to LTE report confirms 371 firm LTE network deployments are planned or in progress in 116 countries, including 175 networks which are commercially launched in 70 countries. MVNOs are excluded. Multi-band networks are counted as one network.
A further 53 operators in 10 additional countries are engaged in pre-commercial LTE technology pilot trials, tests or studies.
Taken together, it means that 424 operators in 126 countries are now investing in LTE.
LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever and is mainstream. 100 LTE networks were commercially launched in the past 12 months. The number of countries with commercial LTE services almost doubled in the same period (increase of 94%).
Market outlook: GSA forecasts there will be 248 commercial LTE networks in 87 countries by end 2013.
The Evolution to LTE report covers both FDD and TDD modes and is independently researched and published by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), providing a comprehensive update of the business drivers, objectives and targets for LTE - Long Term Evolution and the evolved packet system, standardized by 3GPP and now in commercial service and mainstream, including network operator commitments and deployment/launch plans, trials, the growing devices ecosystem, spectrum requirements and developments, 3GPP standardization activities including LTE-Advanced, and more.
The vast majority of network deployments use the FDD mode of the LTE standard in unpaired spectrum. The most widely used FDD band is 1800 MHz (over 43% of commercially launched LTE networks use this band), followed by 2.6 GHz.
16 LTE TDD systems are commercially launched (within the total of 175 commercial networks) in unpaired spectrum, including 6 that have been deployed within combined LTE FDD and TDD operations.