LTE in Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum – November 2019
LTE in Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum: Trials, Deployments and Devices.
The use of unlicensed spectrum for delivery of LTE services is developing steadily. GSA is aware of 12 network deployments/launches concerning the various unlicensed spectrum approaches (LAA, LTE-U, LWA or LWIP) by ten operators and interest in the technologies remains high, with a total of 42 operators around the world known to have been investing in one or more of the technologies. Most recent focus has been on LAA technology, which is being used in trials designed to deliver Gigabit speed mobile services.
Key data points
- Thirty-eight operators investing in LAA across 21 countries. Eight of these have announced LAA network deployments or launches in six countries.
- Thirty operators are trialling, planning to deploy or deploying the technology in 18 countries.
- Eleven operators have announced investments in LTE-U networks. Three LTE-U networks have been deployed/launched in three countries; eight other operators are known to have invested in the technology in the form of trials, or pilots in seven countries.
- One LWA network has been launched in Taiwan, with two other operators investing in the technology through trials in South Korea and Taiwan.
- One eLAA trial in South Korea.
- Seventeen public network operators identified as investing in CBRS trials in the USA, plus numerous companies looking at private network use cases.
- Two hundred and thirty-two devices either supporting LTE in unlicensed spectrum technology or in shared spectrum using CBRS band 48 (including regional variants of devices), from 44 vendors.
GSA has identified eight deployed/commercial LAA networks. The three most recent launches were by Smartone in Hong Kong, TIM in Italy and Turkcell in Turkey.
LAA has been deployed/launched in six countries.
Around the world, various operators are engaged in trials, pilots, or have started deploying LTE in unlicensed spectrum technology. Recent activities have all revolved around LAA.
In addition to those operators that have launched services:
- 30 operators are trialling or deploying LAA technology in 18 countries.
- eight operators have been investing in LTE-U in the form of trials or pilots.
- two other operators are known to have been trialling LWA in South Korea and Taiwan.
- GSA has identified one eLAA trial in South Korea.
LTE in Unlicensed Spectrum