The number of LTE device manufacturers grew 81 percent since July 2014 to 305 companies, said GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association).
1,364 new LTE user device product launches since July 2014 have pushed the current total of LTE user devices up to 3,253.
“Dozens of new LTE terminals are being launched every week with a growing share incorporating LTE-Advanced technology. The number of Category 4 devices rose 63 percent in the past 4 months, however the range of Category 6 devices quadrupled in the same period,” said Alan Hadden, VP of Research, GSA.
1,783 smartphones including operator and frequency variants are announced, giving an improved 54.8 percent share of all LTE device types. 98.5 percent of LTE smartphones are multimode, capable of operating on at least one 3G technology in addition to LTE and almost 44 percent of LTE phones can operate on 42 Mbps DC-HSPA+ networks. LTE tablets and personal hotspots are other fast-growing categories.
1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) is the most widely used band for LTE network deployments and benefits from having the support of the largest devices ecosystem of 1,543 devices. The next most used band is 2.6 GHz (band 7: 1,381 products) then 2.1 GHz (band 1: 1,185 products).
1,132 devices support UE Category 4, (150 Mbps downlink) i.e. 35 percent of all LTE devices, including 108 terminals that also support UE category 6. Most current LTE-Advanced systems support Category 6 devices, defined by 3GPP as covering the range 151 Mbps up to 300 Mbps theoretical peak downlink data throughput, and 50 Mbps on the uplink.
Adoption of the APT700 FDD band plan (698-806 MHz) by most countries across APAC and Latin America is a major opportunity for global spectrum harmonization for LTE systems, paving the way for ensuring the greatest economies of scale for devices addressing a market of approaching 4 billion people, for more capacity, and roaming. 139 APT700 band 28 devices: smartphones, tablets, CPEs and MiFis, are launched.
1,210 devices i.e. 37 percent of all LTE devices compared to 28 percent in July 2014, support TDD. Bands 40 (2.3 GHz) and 38 (2.6 GHz) have the largest ecosystems and bands 39 and 41 are also mature. Convergence is a strong theme and a growing trend with several devices supporting both TDD and FDD modes.
Initially operators are deploying VoLTE enabling HD voice for their LTE users. 219 VoLTE-capable devices (including carrier and frequency variants) including 198 smartphones have been announced by all the leading vendors including Apple, Asus, Fujitsu, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Pantech, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony Mobile.