An update to the ‘Status of the LTE Ecosystem’ report published this week by the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms that 63 manufacturers have announced 347 LTE-enabled user devices.
Around 250 new LTE user devices have been announced over the past year.
Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said: “The main growth trend in 2012 so far is the launch of LTE-capable smartphones and tablets. We report that the number of smartphones has increased by one third since January 2012. The number of LTE-capable tablets increased 72% in the same period.“
According to the GSA report, there are 64 LTE smartphones and 31 tablets, including frequency and carrier variants.
Research for the report considered user devices for FDD and TDD modes, form factors, operating frequencies, and the fallback technologies which are supported when customers move outside the LTE coverage areas (i.e. ability to access HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPA+, EV-DO, or TD-SCDMA systems).
347 LTE devices breakdown by form factor:
2 PC Cards
Note that certain products are carrier or country specific and are not available in all markets.
217 LTE devices also operate on either HSPA, HSPA+ or 42 Mbps DC-HSPA+ networks. Within this figure, 91 LTE devices support 42 Mbps HSPA+ technology.
108 LTE devices support EV-DO networks.
The report also considered the availability of devices by frequency band and support of the likely required combinations. The report findings are summarized below for the main LTE bands:
700 MHz (US Digital Dividend, various bands) 170 devices
800 MHz (EU Digital Dividend, Band 20) 72 devices
1800 MHz (Band 3) 75 devices
2600 MHz (Band 7) 94 devices
800/1800/2600 MHz 57 devices
AWS (Band 4) 72 devices
The majority of LTE user devices today support the 700 MHz band where LTE networks and services are developing fastest, especially in North America. As LTE network rollouts accelerate in other regions, particularly in Europe where operators are primarily using 2600 MHz, 1800 MHz and 800 MHz digital dividend spectrum, in many cases using all three bands, manufacturers are responding with products for these markets. For example, the number of user devices capable of operating in 2600 MHz spectrum (band 7) has increased by 44% since January 2012. The choice of LTE1800 (band 3) devices is rapidly expanding as more operators focus on the opportunities from deploying LTE systems in 1800 MHz spectrum. There are now 75 LTE1800 user devices, which is 50% higher than GSA reported in January 2012.
The range of LTE TDD devices is also expanding as operators in all regions are preparing for a wave of commercial launches of TDD systems. 53 LTE TDD capable devices are included in the 347 total figure.
The GSA ‘Status of the LTE Ecosystem’ report (April 3, 2012) is available as a free download to registered site users via the link at www.gsacom.com (registration page for new site users at www.gsacom.com/php/register_form)
LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. According to another GSA report (Evolution to LTE report – March 13, 2012), 301 operators in 95 countries are currently investing in LTE.
Numerous charts, maps etc. confirming the progress of mobile broadband developments including LTE are available at www.gsacom.com/news/statistics