The total of 4G LTE user devices have now reached 3,253 according to the latest report by GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) in June 2015. There are 305 companies that manufacture these devices.
The report covers LTE FDD and TDD (TD-LTE) devices.
The smartphone is the largest 4G LTE device category. 1,783 smartphones including operator and frequency variants are announced, representing a 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. 4G LTE tablets and personal hotspots are other fast-growing categories.
1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) is the most widely used band for 4G LTE network deployments and benefits from having the support of the largest devices ecosystem of 1,543 devices said GSA. 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 (698806 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, according to GSA. 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 4G 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. There is also 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.
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.”
As of March 2015, there are 635 million 4G LTE subscriptions worldwide. GSA revealed in April 2015 that 393 operators have commercially launched 4G LTE service in 138 countries.
[Download PDF]– Status of the LTE Ecosystem report: GSA confirms 3,253 LTE devices announced by 305 suppliers