UK: An update to the ‘Status of the LTE Ecosystem’ report released by the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms that 97 manufacturers have announced 821 LTE-enabled user devices, including frequency and carrier variants. 474 new LTE user devices were launched in the past year. The number of manufacturers increased by 54 percent in this period.
Smartphones remain the largest LTE device category with 4 times as many products released compared to the lansdscape in April 2012. LTE connected tablets is another fast growing segment.
Most of the 821 LTE devices operate in the FDD mode. However, 166 devices can operate using the LTE TDD mode, with band 38 (2.6 GHz) and band 40 (2.3 GHz) having the largest number. LTE TDD devices are available in all form factors including smartphones, dongles, routers, portable hotspots, embedded modules, and mobile tablets. In the report GSA calls on semiconductor and device manufacturers to support the many operators who are deploying or planning LTE TDD systems in globally available 3.5 GHz spectrum (bands 42, 43) to ensure a good choice and timely availability of user devices.
GSA recently confirmed that 1800 MHz (band 3) is the most widely used band for LTE networks in commercial service, followed by 2600 MHz (band 7) and 800 MHz (band 20). This report shows that the frequency band support in LTE devices fully aligns with this trend (several products support more than one band):
2600 MHz = 280 devices; 1800 MHz = 233 devices; and 800 MHz = 207 devices.
Alan Hadden, president of the GSA said: “A user with a dual band 1800/2600 MHz LTE FDD device could potentially use it on around 100 LTE networks in more than 55 countries i.e. 83% of markets where LTE service is commercially available today.”
The report gives a breakdown for the other FDD main bands including 700 MHz (used mainly in North America), AWS (band 4), 2100 MHz (band 1) and 900 MHz (band 8). Terminal support for the main LTE TDD bands is also provided.