115 commercial LTE networks by 2012

As many as 218 operators in 81 countries are investing in LTE. It also reports that at least 24 LTE networks have been commercially launched in 16 countries, and at least 91 new LTE networks are expected to be commercially launched by 2012, according to GSA.

The number of firm network deployment LTE commitments has more than doubled since June 2010. Comparing HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+ and LTE growth 6-12 months post their commercial launch, the GSA report proves that LTE is the fastest growing mobile network and the recent rapid increase in mobile data traffic, currently supported primarily by HSPA and HSPA+ systems, is driving the interest in deploying LTE.


166 firm commercial LTE network deployments are in progress or planned in 62 countries, including networks which have been commercially launched. A further 52 operators in 19 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.


LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. The number of operators investing in LTE has increased to 98 percent since June 2010, while the number of firm deployment commitments has more than doubled (107 percent) in the same period. We have again raised our market outlook and forecast at least 91 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2012,” said Alan Hadden, president, GSA.


The strong momentum towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly 1800 MHz (i.e. LTE1800) is highlighted in the report. The report also notes the growing international interest and acceptance of LTE TDD and confirms studies, trials and deployments underway or planned in Australia, China, India and other Asian markets, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and North America.

LTE delivers capacity and data throughput enhancements and low latency at speeds of up to 100G, to support new services and high-bandwidth applications such as interactive TV, mobile video blogging, and real-time streaming and gaming, and will be especially useful for large enterprises.


While China has actively deployed TD-LTE, India is contemplating the same, with Mukesh Ambani-backed RIL supporting the move. However, TRAI is soon to emerge with a paper on 4G, and when BWA operations begin early next year, it is yet to be decided whether the country will go in for 4G or TD-LTE.


By Beryl M
[email protected]