An update to the ‘Status of the LTE Ecosystem’ report published by the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms that 67 manufacturers have announced 417 LTE-enabled user devices, including frequency and carrier variants.
Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said: “The number of LTE user devices announced in the market has more than tripled over the past year.”
The figures include 83 LTE smartphones and 31 tablets.
Research for the report covered devices for use on FDD or TDD modes of the LTE system, their 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).
Breakdown of LTE user devices by form factor:
1 PC card
Total = 417 user devices (July 3, 2012)
Note that certain products are carrier or country specific and are not available in all markets.
68 devices can operate in the TDD mode.
267 LTE devices also operate on either HSPA, HSPA+ or DC-HSPA+ networks, ensuring a seamless mobile broadband experience for customers moving between LTE and HSPA coverage footprints. Within this figure, 109 LTE devices can operate on 42 Mbps HSPA+ systems.
126 LTE devices support operation on 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) 193 devices
800 MHz (EU Digital Dividend, Band 20) 90 devices
1800 MHz (Band 3) 98 devices
2600 MHz (Band 7) 120 devices
800/1800/2600 MHz 75 devices
AWS (Band 4) 78 devices
The majority of LTE user devices operate in the 700 MHz band since LTE networks using this spectrum are the most extensively developed today, driven by market developments in the USA. As LTE network rollouts rapidly develop 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 have quickly responded with products for these markets. For example, the number of user devices capable of operating in 2600 MHz spectrum (band 7) has increased by 85% since January 2012. The choice of LTE1800 (band 3) devices has also significantly expanded. There are now 98 LTE1800 user devices, which is almost double the number reported by GSA in January 2012.
The GSA Status of the LTE Ecosystem report (July 3, 2012) is available as a free download to registered site users via the link at http://www.gsacom.com/gsm_3g/info_papers.php4 (registration page for new site users at www.gsacom.com/php/register_form)
LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. According to the Evolution to LTE report published by GSA on June 4, 2012, a total of 327 operators in 99 countries are currently investing in LTE and 144 LTE networks are expected to be in commercial service in 59 countries by the end of this year.