LTE: The Road to Evolution (GSA Report Summary)


Road to LTE



Earlier this month, GSA reported that 521 LTE networks have now been launched and LTE-Advanced is becoming a mainstream technology.





According to a recent press release from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 521 operators across 170 countries have now launched LTE networks. In the past year alone, 74 mobile operators have commercially launched 4G/LTE services, with Jamaica, Myanmar, Bermuda and Gibraltar being amongst some of the latest countries to launch the network. These figures come after the recently published GSA “Evolution to LTE” report, which provides an in-depth view and analysis of the global 4G/LTE, LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro market.

Key figures included in the report are:

  • More than 28% of LTE operators have commercially launched LTE-Advanced networks across 69 countries
  • 192 LTE operators (37%) are to deploy LTE-Advanced/LTE-Advanced Pro in 84 countries by the end of 2016


In addition, 738 operators across 194 countries are actively investing in 4G LTE today; GSA predicts that by the end of 2016, 560 commercial LTE networks will have been launched. The report also noted that there were 1.292 billion 4G LTE subscriptions at the end of Q1 2016, with an average increase of 2 million subscriptions per day – proving the global success of 4G LTE. According to the GSA, the LTE network has, and continues to be, the fastest developing mobile system technology to date.

The most widely used spectrum for LTE network deployments is 1800MHz (3GPP band 3), which is used in 246 commercially launched networks in 110 countries to represent over 47% of LTE network deployments. The next most popular band for LTE systems is 2.6 GHz (band 7) used in 121 networks. 800 MHz (band 20) follows this as the third most popular spectrum choice, being used by 119 LTE operators.


LTE – Long Term Evolution

The expansion of LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro networks has been significant, but many are still unsure of the benefits.

Also referred to as “CAT 6”, LTE-Advanced first and foremost delivers faster speeds – in fact it is 3x faster than CAT 3 or standard LTE. In addition to this it also offers increased capacity with additional bands. Together these improvements not only enhance the user experience of today’s applications, but they also pave the way for new ones.


The Driving Need for LTE-Advanced

Users today are consuming more and more data, both in fixed locations and on the go; high speed Internet is no longer just a luxury, it’s a “must have”. With LTE-Advanced, users are now able to share more data-rich content with ease; from 4K photos and videos to futuristic applications such as virtual reality.

It’s not just users that are seeing the benefits of LTE-Advanced though:

We’re increasingly seeing a demand for 4G LTE in-vehicle networking to connect mobile workforces and fleets; it has already proven to be a valuable application that drives operational efficiencies and customer service by connecting remote workers to head offices. As applications become more advanced though and require faster connectivity that can go further from the vehicle than ever before, LTE-Advanced is the step change in mobile connectivity that will enable this.

We’re also seeing an increased need for LTE mobile networking in fixed branch locations, for example businesses such as retailers are using LTE as failover connectivity to reduce their cost of downtime. By deploying cellular networking solutions in their stores, retailers are able to ensure seamless failover when the primary line is disconnected. The same solution can also provide OOBM, enabling remote access to the primary router (over the cellular network) so that central IT resources can troubleshoot and configure issues – all without requiring a dedicated fixed line or OOBM modem. With the availability of LTE-Advanced, and its extended speeds and capacity, businesses can stay fully operational without the risk of downtime.


As the GSA report has indicated, LTE-Advanced is fast becoming a mainstream technology and now is the time for businesses to start investing in CAT 6 networking solutions, in order to expand their networking capabilities today and to prepare for their needs of tomorrow. To download the full report, please click here.


To view our range of LTE-Advanced CAT 6 routers and gateways follow the link to our store provided, or for more information please feel free to contact our team on +44 (0) 1291 437 567 or