According to the latest Global Development of LTE Networks and Services Survey completed this November by the consulting firm Hadden Telecoms, a total of 709 operators in 213 countries/territories have commercially launched 4G services delivered on LTE or LTE-Advanced networks. Operators are investing heavily in LTE and its evolution as the global de-facto platform for delivering mobile broadband services. A growing number are deploying and launching LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro (4.5G) technologies in markets across the world.
At current stage, a great number of LTE networks are deployed using spectrum in FDD configuration. However, with the increasing adoption and capabilities of the carrier aggregation feature in LTE Advanced systems, a growing number of operators are taking TDD spectrum arrangement.
In specific, 709 operators in 213 countries have commercially launched 4G services on LTE or LTE-Advanced systems. 56 operators have launched 4G/LTE services in the past 12 months, representing 8.6% growth.
1800 MHz is the most widely used band for 4G/LTE deployments and is in commercial service today by 371 LTE operators, i.e. 52.3% of all LTE operators. 147 operators in 77 countries are using TDD spectrum either exclusively or within a converged FDD-TDD network build strategy. 68 operators have commercially launched NB-IoT networks.
The continuing growth and investments underline the importance of LTE and its evolution alongside, and in support of, future 5G systems.