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2,646 4G LTE devices now available in the global market

The GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) has confirmed that 1,275 new 4G LTE-enabled user devices have been launched over the past year (2014), raising the total ecosystem to 2,646 4G LTE devices (93% annual growth).

LTE, also known as Long Term-Evolution or 4G LTE, is a wireless technology that is able to offer download speeds up to 300Mbps or faster.

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GSA: Status of the LTE Ecosystem report

The Status of the LTE Ecosystem report covers LTE FDD and TDD (TD-LTE) devices. The number of LTE device manufacturers more than doubled (108%) to 275 over the past year, confirming the market maturity of LTE as a mainstream mobile communications technology, said GSA.

Smartphones continue to dominate the device category with 1,395 products launched, representing 52.7% of all LTE device types. Over 98% of LTE smartphones are multimode, capable of operating on at least one 3G technology in addition to the LTE system. LTE-connected tablets and personal hotspots are other fast-growing product segments, the report revealed.

1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) continues to be the most prominent band for LTE network deployments globally with the largest devices ecosystem of 1,141 user devices. Over 43% of all LTE devices can operate in this band. About 532 LTE 1800 devices were announced during the past year alone.

The report shows how the availability of LTE Category 4 (150 Mbps) and Category 6 (300 Mbps) devices is supporting the widespread deployments of LTE-Advanced technology by mobile operators across the world. A total of 696 LTE devices support Category 4, which is more than a quarter of all LTE devices. Another 27 LTE devices (CPEs, MiFis and smartphones) support Category 6.

As of 2014, twenty (20) operators have commercially launched 300 Mbps Category 6 LTE-Advanced service in 15 countries: Australia, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the UK

Most devices operate in the FDD mode. However the number of terminals that support LTE TDD (TD-LTE) is growing strongly, and gaining share said GSA. 969 devices i.e. 37% of all LTE devices compared to 29% in October 2014, support LTE TDD (TD-LTE). The smartphone is the largest LTE device category. 544 LTE TDD smartphone products are now announced, representing 763% YoY growth.

TD-LTE is a standard co-developed by China Mobile, Datang Telecom, Huawei, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Qualcomm, Samsung, and ST-Ericsson. It is one of two variants of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology standard, the other being Frequency-Division Long-Term Evolution (LTE FDD).

APT700 FDD spectrum (Band 28) has enormous potential as a near-global band for LTE deployments. The report confirms 76 APT700 (band 28) smartphones, tablets, CPEs and MiFi hotspots are announced by leading suppliers.

VoLTE technology is being deployed by operators worldwide, initially bringing HD voice service to their LTE customers. To date, there are 186 VoLTE-capable phones in the market.

As of last year, 360 operators globally have commercially launched LTE networks and service in 124 countries.

GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) represents GSM/EDGE, WCDMA-HSPA and 4G LTE suppliers, providing reports, facts, analysis and information explaining market developments and trends.

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy