393 LTE networks have launched: GSA

Dylan Bushell-Embling
13 Apr 2015

Nearly 400 commercial LTE networks are in operation worldwide, including 64 LTE-Advanced networks, according to the GSA.

The body's latest LTE rollout statistics show that 393 operators in 138 countries have launched LTE services.

In total, 644 operators are investing in LTE across 181 countries. Based on deployment commitments, GSA expects there to be 460 commercially-launched LTE networks by the end of the year.

Around 30% of operators with commercial LTE networks – or 116 operators – are investing in carrier aggregation technology, and 64 operators in 39 countries have launched LTE-Advanced.

The pace of VoLTE rollouts has also increased, according to GSA VP of research Alan Hadden. “Interest in VoLTE has surged and over twice as many operators are investing in VoLTE compared to a year ago,” he said.

“[To date] 16 operators have launched HD voice service enabled by VoLTE in 7 countries, compared to only 3 launched in March 2014. Many more launches will happen in 2015.”

The 1,800-MHz band remains the most widely used LTE spectrum, in use in 45% of LTE network deployments. The next most popular contiguous band is 2.6-GHz, while 800-MHz is by far the most popular sub 1-GHz band for LTE.

While most deployments use the FDD mode, 54 operators in 34 countries have launched TD-LTE networks, including 16 who have deployed on both FDD and TDD.

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