LTE / 4G connections to double to 134 million this year

Telecom Lead India: LTE / 4G connections are expected to grow to 134 million this year from 63 million in 2012.

By 2013, around 256 commercial LTE networks are expected to go live with fourth generation mobile broadband.

More than 100 LTE networks will be launched in 2013.

Nearly 450 operators have committed to LTE deployment.

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According to 4G Americas, 150 mobile operators worldwide have now launched commercial LTE services in 67 countries, 50 of which were launched in the past 5 months.

LTE connections are forecasted to approach 947 million by end of 2017.

While LTE is seeing phenomenal uptake worldwide, HSPA and HSPA+ are providing the backbone to the mobile broadband evolution, offering roaming with five global bands, more than 500 commercial deployments and more than 1 billion connections.

Among the future technology features of LTE, in 3GPP Release 10, LTE-Advanced will offer Carrier Aggregation (CA), which provides for combining spectrum into wider spectrum channels as well as a more efficient use of disparate and underutilized spectrum.

Though the majority of LTE connections today are in three spectrum bands worldwide– 700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz—LTE has been deployed in 20 separate bands to date.  Other bands such as AWS 1700-2100 MHz are beginning to gain traction and will be widely deployed in the Americas region.

Meanwhile, iGR, a market research consultancy, expects 150 deployments of LTE-Advanced by the end of this year, with operators using a variety of the 3GPP Release 10 features including Carrier Aggregation to gain additional benefits such as greater capacity, more intelligent network management, and more flexible deployment options.

According to a recent Ericsson’s mobility report, GSM/GPRS/EDGE subscriptions grew 44 million and WCDMA/HSPA grew 70 million. Together these technologies represent 80 percent of total net additions. LTE subscriptions grew from 14 million to 57 million.

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