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28% of operators already have commercial LTE-A offering

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New research from the Global mobile Suppliers Association, GSA, has stated 521 operators have commercially launched LTE, LTE-Advanced or LTE-Advanced Pro networks around the world.

According to the GSA’s Evolution to LTE report there should be 560 commercially launched LTE networks by end 2016 and over 28% of LTE operators have commercially launched LTE-Advanced networks. Although in its early days for the moment, the advancement of LTE-A show operators are not simply sitting back waiting for the arrival of 5G, but are making the incremental investments to improve the customer experience. LTE-A has been promoted as a technology which can ensure video streaming is smoother, improve HD Voice-over-LTE services and increase internet speeds.

A total of 192 LTE operators, roughly 37% are in the process of deploying LTE-Advanced or LTE-Advanced Pro technologies in 84 countries, of which 147 operators, around 28%, have commercially launched LTE-Advanced or LTE-Advanced Pro wireless broadband services in 69 separate markets around the world.

“LTE-Advanced is mainstream. Over 100 LTE-Advanced networks today are compatible with Category 6 (151-300 Mbps downlink) smartphones and other user devices,” said Alan Hadden, VP, Research at GSA. “The number of Category 9 capable networks (301-450 Mbps) is significant and expanding. Category 11 systems (up to 600 Mbps) are commercially launched, leading the way to Gigabit service being introduced by year end.”

Although LTE-A has been an on-going discussion in the industry for some time, the report demonstrates the technology is on the verge of becoming a consistent commercial proposition. The real-world speed of LTE-A is generally accepted as being two to three times faster than LTE, as well as being more robust meaning fewer dropped calls. The need for speed is continuing to fuel consumer trends, though the statistics do demonstrate operators investing to ensure network infrastructure can keep up with the expectations of consumers.

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