5G, IoT networks, LTE and VoLTE update from GSA

GSA has revealed the status of telecom operators’ investment in 5G, IoT networks, LTE and VoLTE launches till July 2018.
5G launch update August 2018

5G network

154 operators in 66 countries have demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct, field trials of 5G-enabling technologies against 134 operators in April 2018.

67 telecom operators in 39 countries have announced intentions of making 5G available to their customers between 2018 and 2022, GSA said. The above chart shows the 5G network investment in several countries.


The latest research report said 229 mobile operators are investing in VoLTE in 107 countries including 156 operators with deployed / launched VoLTE in 76 countries as compared with 145 in 70 countries in April 2018.

VoLTE network launch update August 2018
Operators in Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, Ecuador, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Poland, Sri Lanka have launched VoLTE services in the last three months.

57 other operators are either planning to deploy or are deploying VoLTE services. 16 additional operators are involved in VoLTE tests / trials.


There are 681 public mobile or FWA LTE networks in service in 208 countries with some new operators in Africa joining the investment. GSA forecasts that 690–700 LTE networks will be commercial in 2018.

Rival telecoms operators Moov and Togocell in Togo launched their LTE networks services to customers. Africell in Sierra Leone, Airtel Kenya, Korea Telecom Rwanda and Vodacom Democratic Republic of the Congo also started LTE. Azam Telecom Tanzania announced plans to launch LTE, using the 700 MHz spectrum band.
LTE launch status August 2018
TTC Tuvalu, Oceania-based telecoms, has launched LTE since April 2018. Another Oceania-based company, MTN in the Marshall Islands announced plans to build an LTE network.

Digicel T&T Trinidad and Tobago and Digicel Anguilla in Latin America and the Caribbean region have announced LTE.

Asian telecom operators Robi Axiata-Airtel and Qubee started offering LTE services in Bangladesh in July. Sazz in Azerbaijan launched LTE.

Cuban state-owned telecom Etecsa announced LTE trials and revealed plans for launching LTE service in 2019.

IoT network

There are 117 operators investing in NB-IoT in 58 countries, including 60 deployed/launched NB-IoT networks in 38 countries.
IoT network update August 2018Operators in Europe and the Far East have made investment in NB-IoT network in the last three months. AT&T Mobility USA and AT&T Mexico plans NB-IoT in 2019.

Spring US, TIM Brasil and TeliaSonera Denmark revealed NB-IoT plans.

NB-IoT launches since April 2018 include Slovak Telecom, Telekom Slovenije, Hrvatski Telekom, T-Mobile and Vodafone in Netherlands, TeliaSonera Sweden, Belgacom and Base in Belgium, T Mobile Austria, Asia Pacific Telecom Taiwan, Smartone Hong Kong and Reliance Jio India.

Telenor Denmark has deployed its NB-IoT network. Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator, announced plans to launch NB-IoT within the next 18-24 months.

Vimpelcom Russia and 3 Sweden have been testing the NB-IoT technology.

There are 44 operators investing in LTE-M networks in 28 countries including 18 deployed / launched LTE-M networks in 13 countries.

KT South Korea, AT&T Mobility US and AT&T Mexico launched LTE–M.

Telenor Denmark and Vodafone Netherlands have deployed their LTE-M networks.

T-Mobile Netherlands, Sprint USA and BASE Belgium – announced plans to launch the technology in the future.

Baburajan K