The number of LTE device models jumped 90% last year, as 742 LTE user devices were launched in 2013. According to the GSA's Status of the LTE Ecosystem report, the number of manufacturers increased by 58% to 154.
Smartphones are now the largest device category after their share of all LTE device types increased to over 40%. The number of LTE-connected personal hotspots (MiFi) and tablets is also expanding rapidly.
The report found that 1800-MHz (3GPP band 3) is the most widely used spectrum band for LTE operators in most regions. According to GSA, 43% of LTE networks use 1800 MHz, either as a single band or as part of a multi-band deployment. Not surprisingly, 1800 MHz is now the most supported frequency for LTE user devices, with more terminals able to operate in this band than in any other. A total of 589 LTE 1800 user devices have been announced, representing annual growth of 152%.
GSA reported that 275 LTE networks have commercially launched in 101 countries and predicts that this number will grow to at least 350 networks in commercial service by the end of the year.
The majority of terminals operate in the FDD mode. However, 387 products can operate in the LTE TDD mode, 221 more than a year ago, underlining the importance of the TDD mode. Over 11% of LTE operators have deployed the TDD mode in their networks.