The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has just released a survey stating that there are now 39 LTE network commitments worldwide. This is an increase of 50% compared to a similar survey undertaken by GSA in March 2009, and confirms the growing level of support for LTE as the next-generation mobile broadband system of choice.
HSPA-based wireless broadband systems are already proclaimed as a great success, and are commercially available in 115 countries worldwide. LTE will offer enhanced network throughput, improved spectrum and operational efficiencies and performance, and reduced latency, which will significantly improve user experience.
LTE standardization is now complete and approved by 3GPP within Release 8, and this will be the basis for initial LTE deployments worldwide. The LTE standard supports both FDD and TDD modes with the same specification and hardware components.
As well as being the natural migration choice for GSM/HSPA network operators, the collaboration between 3GPP, 3GPP2 and IEEE has provided a roadmap for CDMA operators to evolve to LTE, and many leading CDMA operators are among those who have committed to LTE. Successful handovers between CDMA and LTE networks have been demonstrated and announced during August 2009, showing how activities such as video downloading and web surfing were maintained as the user moved between LTE and CDMA coverage areas.
The LTE-TDD mode, (TD-LTE) provides a future-proof evolutionary path for TD-SCDMA, another 3GPP standard. As a result LTE promises to be a single global standard, which will hopefully both drive economies of scale and simplify roaming.
The Evolution to LTE Information Paper published by GSA on August 26, 2009 provides the following data:
- 39 LTE network commitments in 19 countries
- 14 LTE networks anticipated to be in service by end 2010
- 31 LTE networks anticipated to be in service by end 2012
Evolution to LTE is available as a free download to registered site users at GSA, where maps and charts for LTE are also available.