SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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4G Americas Reports 300 LTE Networks Worldwide

Launches of Release 12 LTE-Advanced Could Hit 40 by YE2014

BELLEVUE, WA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/16/14 -- LTE is now commercial on 300 networks in 107 countries, adding 109 new commercial networks year-over-year since June 2013, with 350 commercial LTE networks anticipated by the end of 2014, as reported today by 4G Americas, a wireless trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, including LTE and LTE-Advanced. Additionally, LTE-Advanced is now commercially deployed on 9 networks in 7 countries worldwide, with those numbers expected to reach 40 networks by year-end 2014.

"In five years, since the first launch of LTE by TeliaSonera in 2009, there has been explosive growth in LTE network deployments as the entire ecosystem -- operators, vendors and stakeholders combined -- progress the technology," commented Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "As LTE becomes the foundation of the wireless landscape, LTE-Advanced is the evolutionary step for increased speed and network capacity. We are beginning to see activity around LTE-Advanced including initial launches and devices."

Key facts regarding global LTE deployments:

  • 500 total commitments to LTE deployments by mobile operators to date
  • LTE connections are forecast to surpass 2.3 billion by 2020 (Informa Telecoms & Media WCIS+)
  • 23 LTE-TDD and 264 LTE-FDD networks, with an additional 23 networks with both LTE-TDD and FDD
  • 10 radio spectrum bands used for LTE today ranging from 700 MHz to 2.6 GHz
  • The number of commercial LTE networks and subscriptions in world regions are:


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Commercial LTE    # LTE Connections
 Region                         Networks          Millions / Market Share
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Europe (East and Western)      115               39.8  / 14%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Asia Pacific                   54                103.6  / 37%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 U.S. and Canada                49                125.8  / 45%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Latin America & Caribbean      40                3.6  / > 1%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Africa                         23                1.9 / < 1%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Middle East                    19                2.9 / 1%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 TOTAL                          300               277.6 Million
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Although Europe has risen to the top with the most LTE commercial networks deployed, North America remains in the leadership position of LTE subscriptions worldwide with 45 percent of the world's 278 million LTE connections at the end of May 2014 (Informa Telecoms & Media estimates).

In March of this year, AT&T launched LTE-Advanced in Chicago making them the first major U.S. carrier to offer the service. It is expected that all four national U.S. carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon -- will launch LTE-Advanced in 2014 and 2015. The world's first LTE-Advanced network using Carrier Aggregation was commercially launched in South Korea by SK Telecom (which included a compatible handset) in June 2013. Carrier Aggregation is important for carriers around the world as it allows them to create larger spectrum swaths by combining disparate spectrum assets. The larger the spectrum swaths, the better the efficiency of LTE; however, Carrier Aggregation is just one component of LTE-Advanced; it also includes other elements such as Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP), Self-Optimizing Networks (SON), small cell enhancements, Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) and advanced Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO) antenna technology to improve network performance and capacity.

AT&T's Kris Rinne, Sr. Vice President, Network and Product Planning will be speaking at the 4G Americas Operators Summit on LTE-Advanced and Beyond on September 9 at 4G World, a featured event at Super Mobility Week, with other leading industry experts from Alcatel-Lucent, Commscope, Ericsson, HP, Intel, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm and T-Mobile USA. In the panel, Roadmap for LTE-Advanced, experts from Alcatel-Lucent and Commscope will share the stage with Kris Rinne to explore the many features of enhancement for LTE in the next evolutionary step. The Summit also includes a panel on Core Network Evolution to NFV, moderated by Iain Gillott of iGR, followed by a session on 5G Requirements for 2020 and Beyond, moderated by Chris Pearson.

"I am excited to be working with 4G Americas to host their Operators Summit on LTE-Advanced and Beyond," noted Berge Ayvazian, 4G World Conference Chair. "The Summit will provide all participants with best practices and real world advice on how operators can deploy LTE-Advanced to keep pace with unprecedented 4G traffic growth."

For more information on LTE-Advanced, the white paper, 4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release 11 & Release 12 and Beyond, is available for free download. 4G Americas maintains current lists of HSPA+ and LTE Global Deployments by region on its website. For more information and to view a variety of statistical charts on the 3GPP family of technologies, visit www.4gamericas.org. Subscriber and forecast data is from Informa Telecoms & Media World Cellular Information Service (WCIS+).

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of the 3GPP family of mobile broadband technologies, including LTE-Advanced, throughout the ecosystem's networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the success of 3GPP technologies and their No. 1 place in the region. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org or www.twitter.com/4gamericas and www.facebook.com/4gamericas.

4G Americas' Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Mavenir, Nokia, Openwave Mobility, Qualcomm, Rogers, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

About 4G World
4G World covers the global technology, services and applications ecosystem for next-generation mobile broadband networks and helps to transform how people and enterprises communicate, work and socialize. The conference program will focus on the key technologies and global operator business strategies shaping 4G network deployment.

Attendees will discuss the most challenging issues, obstacles and opportunities that operators must address to efficiently deploy and operate 4G networks, manage the cost of unbridled traffic growth, develop compelling mobile broadband services, capture revenues and generate a return on their 4G infrastructure investments.

4G World 2014 will co-locate with CTIA's Super-Mobility Week at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and will focus on two key questions:

  • How can operators deploy their 4G network infrastructures with Customer Experience Management solutions to enhance network performance add and unique value with business models that properly monetize OTT services, applications and content?
  • How can operators, technologists, device vendors, OTT service providers, regulators and other stakeholders agree on a strategy to keep pace with the endless appetite for mobile broadband, 1000X traffic growth and provide universal coverage of true 4G @ 100 Mbps, all IP and fully mobile?

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