Gigabit LTE Networks: Analysis of Deployments Worldwide
Gigabit LTE Networks:
313 operators in 133 countries are investing in at least one of the three key Gigabit LTE component technologies (4×4 MIMO or above, carrier aggregation or 256QAM DL).
Drawing on information collected by GSA about operator deployments of LTE-Advanced features for its comprehensive database on operator networks, technologies and spectrum (NTS), this report identifies operators investing at a technology level in Gigabit LTE Networks (defined as carrier aggregation plus 4×4 MIMO [or above] plus 256QAM DL). Note that ‘4×4 MIMO or above’ includes 4×4 MIMO and all higher-order MIMO technologies such as 8T8R MIMO and Massive MIMO.
- 298 operators that have deployed/launched LTE-Advanced networks in 130 countries. (All references to countries in this document can be read as also including territories, special administrative regions, disputed territories and dependencies.)
- 313 operators in 133 countries are investing in at least one of the three key Gigabit LTE Network component technologies.
- 101 operators in 60 countries are identified as investing in all three key Gigabit LTE component technologies.
- Of these, 53 operators in 37 countries have deployed all three technologies.
- Thirty-five operators (representing more than 11% of all the launched LTE-Advanced networks) can support UE Cat-16 peak theoretical DL speeds (>750 Mbps) or above.
- Thirty-two of those have announced Gigabit (or very near at 979 Mbps) peak theoretical throughput in the downlink in their deployed/commercial networks.
- Ten of them have pockets of LTE network capable of delivering the maximum DL speeds supported by Cat-18 devices, i.e. peak theoretical throughput of up to 1.2 Gbps.
We expect many other networks to achieve Gigabit speeds on their LTE networks very soon, as they refarm or acquire new spectrum resources, invest in higher orders of MIMO technology and implement new carrier aggregation combinations. Operators are still investing in improving their LTE networks, even as they begin to deploy 5G technologies.
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