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Fastest LTE network now is at 1.2Gbps, 67 Operators to launch 5G – GSA

According to a latest report from GSA, the Global mobile Suppliers Association, 67 telecom operators in 39 countries have announced intentions of making 5G available to their customers between 2018 and 2022.

gsa 5g gigabit network

GSA’s “Evolution from LTE to 5G: Global Market Status” report provides an independent in-depth status view and analysis of the global 4G/LTE, LTE-Advanced and 5G markets.

Key Facts of the report, as of August 2018:

  • 865 operators investing in LTE, including pre-commitment trials.
  • 681 commercially launched LTE or LTE-Advanced networks in 208 countries, including those using LTE for FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) services, as well as 114 LTE-TDD (TD-LTE) networks launched in 60 countries.
  • 156 commercial VoLTE networks in 76 countries and 229 operators investing in VoLTE in 107 countries.
  • 261 launched networks that are LTE-Advanced in 119 countries.
  • 4 launched networks that are capable of supporting user equipment (UE) at Cat-18 DL speeds (within limited geographic areas).
  • 690–700 anticipated commercially launched LTE networks by end-2018 (GSA forecast).
  • 60 NB-IoT and 18 LTE-M/Cat-M1 networks commercially launched with 57 other operators investing in NB-IoT and 26 other operators investing in LTE-M/Cat-M1 in the form of tests, trials or planned deployments.
  • 154 operators that have been engaged in, are engaged in, plan to engage in, or have been licensed to undertake 5G demos, tests or trials of one or more constituent technologies.
  • 67 telecom operators in 39 countries have announced intentions of making 5G available to their customers between 2018 and 2022.

GSA has identified 154 operators in 66 countries that have demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct, field trials of 5G-enabling and candidate technologies (up from 134 operators in April 2018). 10 launches in nine countries are planned to take place by the end of 2018. GSA said that the lack of commercial 5G devices is hindering operators’ efforts to properly launch services.

The 3GPP Release 15 Standards for standalone (SA) 5G NR mode for enhanced mobile broadband networks were completed in June 2018. Further 5G standards evolution is expected in 3GPP Release 16, due to be completed by December 2019.

5G is a mobile network system which has much higher Internet speed and capacity, and much lower latency compared to 4G LTE networks. 5G is centered around the idea that the Internet of Things (IoT) that is connected devices that enable self-driving cars, automated homes and much more.

In Malaysia, Telcos such as Celcom and U Mobile have shown interest on 5G technologies however these mobile operators have yet to make any announcement on commercial deployments. It also appears that none of the mobile operators in Malaysia have yet to fully utilise all current 4G LTE technologies.

The fastest commercial Gigabit LTE networks in the world right now are available in Switzerland (Swisscom) and Turkey (Turkcell) offering a theoretical mobile network download speeds up to 1200Mbps (1.2Gbps, supported on the Samsung Galaxy Note9) using 3 key LTE-Advanced technologies: Carrier Aggregation, 256QAM in the downlink and 4×4 MIMO or above.

Some of the fastest commercial LTE networks around the world and its theoretical download speeds:

  • Swisscom (Switzerland)- 1200Mbps
  • Turkcell (Turkey)- 1200Mbps
  • China Unicom (China)- 1156Mbps
  • Optus (Australia)- 1030Mbps
  • AT&T Mobility (USA)- 1000Mbps
  • China Mobile Hong Kong (Hong Kong)- 1000Mbps
  • Dialog Axiata (Sri Lanka)- 1000Mbps
  • HKT (Hong Kong)- 1000Mbps
  • Ooredoo (Qatar)- 1000Mbps
  • StarHub (Singapore)- 1000Mbps
  • Telstra (Australia)- 1000Mbps
  • Vodafone (Germany)- 1000Mbps
  • Megafon/Yota (Russia)- 979Mbps
  • SK Telecom (South Korea)- 900Mbps
  • SingTel (Singapore)- 800Mbps

To date there are 3.2 billion LTE subscriptions worldwide, representing 38.5% of the total global mobile subscriptions as of 1Q 2018, according to data from market research firm Ovum.

[Download PDF]– GSA Evolution from LTE to 5G: Global Market Status Report

About Kugan

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