Ericsson Mobility Report 2017 said there are 14 commercially launched Gigabit LTE networks, and the deployment rate is expected to increase during 2018.
Ongoing trials — based on commercially available network infrastructure and chipsets – showed that speeds above Gigabit per second can be achieved. Commercial launches of such networks are also expected during 2018.
The number of commercial LTE networks is 644 in 200 countries. The number of LTE-A networks is 212.
By using carrier aggregation, operators can combine more spectrum assets. As carrier aggregation is coupled with 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM, operators can achieve network speeds with peak rates of Gigabit per second. This will lead to increased network capacity, a wider coverage area, and faster average end-user data speeds.
Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) is a new technology that allows operators to use unlicensed spectrum in combination with their licensed spectrum to improve network capacity and speed. Commercial deployments are expected in 2018.
Massive MIMO that improves end-user experience, as well as increasing network capacity and coverage while reducing interference will play an important role in current generations of mobile communication and will become even more important with 5G technology. Several trials are ongoing and commercial deployments are expected during 2018.