Gigabit LTE Report – September 2019 update
Gigabit LTE Report.
324 operators in 136 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 Gigabit LTE report identifies operators investing at a technology level in Gigabit LTE (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.
- 308 operators have deployed/launched LTE-Advanced networks in 135 countries.
- 324 operators in 136 countries are investing in at least one of the three key Gigabit LTE component technologies.
- 114 operators in 69 countries are identified as investing in all three key Gigabit LTE component technologies.
- Sixty-one operators in 44 countries have deployed all three technologies.
- Thirty-seven operators (representing more than 12% of all the deployed/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. One operator has claimed a maximum rate in its commercial LTE network of 1.6 Gbps (Cat-19).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.