LTE Ecosystem October 2020
GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) monitors and researches worldwide mobile broadband developments and publishes facts, statistics and trends. This report confirms 18,127 LTE user devices identified as launched (including 206 commercial 5G devices also supporting LTE) from 811 manufacturers and provides an analysis of the main developments and trends. The increase in manufacturers mostly reflects the addition to the database of a number of small specialist vendors for particular form factors including cameras, industrial CPE/routers, fixed wireless terminals/phones and smart-home devices.
This new total is 17.7% higher than the number of devices identified by GSA in September 2019. This report covers LTE FDD and TDD (TD-LTE) models and LTE-related cellular IoT devices standardised by 3GPP as UE Cat-M1/M2 and UE Cat-NB1/NB2.
While 5G grabs the headlines, LTE still dominates global mobile telecoms. There are 798 operators with commercially launched mobile or broadband fixed wireless access networks (GSA: NTS Database September 2020). There were 5.55 billion LTE subscriptions globally by the end of Q2 2020 (source: Omdia, September 2020). LTE accounts for 60.4% of mobile subscriptions globally. Given this huge market, it is not surprising that there is a vibrant technology ecosystem supporting operators with LTE networks and within that, a large number of vendors selling a huge array of devices.
There are 18,127 LTE-capable user devices including frequency and operator variants from 811 suppliers verified in GSA’s GAMBoD database, a 17.7% increase since September 2019. The number of devices has continued to grow rapidly, at an average growth rate of more than 3,000 devices per year for the past four years.
The phone form factor has the largest ecosystem with 10,697 phones announced, including operator and frequency variants, giving a 59% share of all LTE devices. The LTE-capable CPE/router, LTE module and LTE-connected tablet PC segments (3,585, 1,414 and 1,220 devices respectively) are also large. Other categories being tracked include USB modems (345 devices), asset trackers (203), cameras (138), notebooks (115), and smart watches (81), as well as car hotspots, vehicle on-board units (OBUs), femtocells, fixed wireless terminals/phones, data loggers/IoT sensors, drones, kiosk terminals, PC cards, POS machines, projectors, smart-home devices, vehicle accessories, intercoms and voice translators.
Most devices operate in the FDD mode (16,354 devices out of 18,127: 90.3%), while the number of terminals that support LTE TDD (TD-LTE) continues to grow: 8,102 (44.7%) LTE devices support the LTE TDD (TD-LTE) mode.
LTE networks are operating commercially in many bands. Table 1 (LTE-FDD) and Table 2 (LTE-TDD) confirm the frequency bands that are most supported by the device ecosystem.
LTE Ecosystem October 2020
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