June 21, 2015: The latest update to the Status of the LTE Ecosystem report by GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms fast expansion of the LTE ecosystem and the increasing focus on LTE-Advanced capable devices. A total of 1,364 new LTE user device product launches since July 2014 has pushed the current total of LTE user devices up to 3,253. The number of LTE device manufacturers grew 81% in the same period to 305 companies. Many more companies are expected to participate in the market in the near future as the rapid market development continues.
Alan Hadden, VP of Research, GSA, said: “Dozens of new LTE terminals are being launched every week with a growing share incorporating LTE-Advanced technology. The number of Category 4 devices rose 63% in the past 4 months, however the range of Category 6 devices quadrupled in the same period.”
The report covers LTE FDD and TDD (TD-LTE) devices.
The smartphone is the largest LTE device category. 1,783 smartphones including operator and frequency variants are announced, giving an improved 54.8% share of all LTE device types. 98.5% of LTE smartphones are multimode, capable of operating on at least one 3G technology in addition to LTE and almost 44% of LTE phones can operate on 42 Mbps DC-HSPA+ networks. LTE tablets and personal hotspots are other fast-growing categories.
1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) is the most widely used band for LTE network deployments and benefits from having the support of the largest devices ecosystem of 1,543 devices. The next most used band is 2.6 GHz (band 7: 1,381 products) then 2.1 GHz (band 1: 1,185 products).
The rapidly expanding choice of LTE-Advanced devices is evident as more operators invest in carrier aggregation. 1,132 devices support UE Category 4, (150 Mbps downlink) i.e. 35% of all LTE devices, including 108 terminals that also support UE category 6. Most current LTE- Advanced systems support Category 6 devices, defined by 3GPP as covering the range 151 Mbps up to 300 Mbps theoretical peak downlink data throughput, and 50 Mbps on the uplink.
The report notes increasing traction for APT700. Adoption of the APT700 FDD band plan (698- 806 MHz) by most countries across APAC and Latin America is a major opportunity for global spectrum harmonization for LTE systems, paving the way for ensuring the greatest economies of scale for devices addressing a market of approaching 4 billion people, for more capacity, and roaming. 139 APT700 band 28 devices: smartphones, tablets, CPEs and MiFis, are launched.
LTE TDD (TD-LTE)
Support for LTE TDD (TD-LTE) is growing. 1,210 devices i.e. 37% of all LTE devices compared to 28% in July 2014, support TDD. Bands 40 (2.3 GHz) and 38 (2.6 GHz) have the largest ecosystems and bands 39 and 41 are also mature. Convergence is a strong theme and a growing trend with several devices supporting both TDD and FDD modes.
VoLTE technology is being widely deployed. Initially operators are deploying VoLTE enabling HD voice for their LTE users. 219 VoLTE-capable devices (including carrier and frequency variants) including 198 smartphones have been announced by all the leading vendors including Apple, Asus, Fujitsu, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Pantech, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Mobile.
The Status of the LTE Ecosystem report published by GSA on 19 June 2015 is available as a free download to registered site users via the link at http://www.gsacom.com
Registration page for new site users: https://gsacom.com/register/
GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) represents GSM/EDGE/WCDMA-HSPA/HSPA+, LTE/LTE- Advanced and future 5G suppliers. GSA brings together a global industry community of telecoms professionals through its website, reports, information papers and practical activities to inform, influence, educate, explain and promote the opportunities enabled by mobile broadband systems. The GSA website www.gsacom.com has gained over 68,500 registered users for knowledge gathering and information sharing of key facts, trends and analysis, and 24,300 connections on our social network platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Over 1 million GSA reports, presentations, information papers, maps, charts and other resources were downloaded from www.gsacom.com over the past five years.
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