The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an update to its Evolution to LTE report which confirms 110 operators in 48 countries are currently investing in LTE networks.
80 operators have made firm commitments to deploy LTE networks in 33 countries (compared to 64 network commitments identified two months ago). LTE networks are now being installed or planned for commercial service in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, UAE, USA, and Uzbekistan.
GSA anticipates that up to 22 LTE networks will be in service by end 2010, and at least 45 are expected to be in service by end 2012. The first LTE networks entered commercial service in December 2009 in Norway and Sweden.
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The Evolution to LTE report confirms there are an additional 30 pre-commitment pilot LTE networks, technology trials and studies in 15 more countries.
Governments in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands have all completed auctions of spectrum in recent weeks including 2.6 GHz, which is targeted for LTE systems. Germany has also completed Europe's first auction of 800 MHz (digital dividend) spectrum in which the winning operators also plan to deploy LTE systems. Further auctions of spectrum suitable for LTE are anticipated in the coming months.
LTE is the natural evolutionary step for GSM/WCDMA-HSPA operators and many leading CDMA operators around the world. A leading WiMAX operator has also recently announced the company has decided to shift to LTE.
Alan Hadden, President, GSA said: "The success of recent LTE systems launches, newly completed spectrum auctions in 2.6 GHz and 800 MHz bands, and the continuing strong upsurge in mobile broadband worldwide are combining to produce the huge momentum for LTE we see right now. LTE is essential to take mobile broadband to the mass market".
The GSA report notes that in addition to the well established commitment to new 2.6 GHz and digital dividend spectrum (800 MHz in Europe, 700 MHz in the Americas) for LTE, a number of operators are considering deploying LTE in the 1800 MHz band, which may typically provide the necessary amount of bandwidth to fully exploit the potential of LTE systems.
The eco-system for LTE is now rapidly establishing. LTE dongles which are also compatible with legacy 2G/3G systems including WCDMA-HSPA are expected to be introduced into the market shortly and a number of smartphones are anticipated to be launched in the next 6 - 12 months.
The Evolution to LTE report summarizes the status of both FDD and TDD versions of LTE. A large-scale demonstration network is showcasing TD-LTE at the World Expo in Shanghai, and several user devices are launched or planned.
Source: Cellular News