The use of unlicensed spectrum for the 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. General interest remains high, with a total of 41 operators around the world known to have been investing in one or more of the four technologies. Most of the recent activity has revolved around LAA, which is being used in trials and live networks to deliver much faster mobile services.
While development of the technology ecosystems around LTE-U and LWA has largely stalled, those operators planning to start trials or deployments of LAA will be encouraged by the increasing number of devices that are compatible with LAA, with big-name phones recently released by several of the leading vendors.
Meanwhile, there is rapidly growing interest and momentum behind the CBRS shared-spectrum approach in the USA. There are dozens of companies reportedly planning CBRS deployments (including those for private enterprise networks). Looking exclusively at the public fixed and mobile operator community, (including those companies offering neutral host and wholesale solutions to other service providers), GSA has been able to identify 17 companies testing the technology. At the same time there has been very rapid recent growth in the number of CBRS- compatible devices.
This report is the tenth quarterly report tracking the progress of the key technologies for using LTE in unlicensed and shared spectrum. GSA monitors network trials as well as deployments and the availability of chipsets, modules and devices.
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