PRESS RELEASE – 4G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G for the Americas, today announced that LTE-Advanced has been commercially deployed on 100 networks worldwide in 49 countries.
The first LTE-Advanced networks were deployed in South Korea in June 2013 and utilized Carrier Aggregation which has become the most popular technology feature of LTE-Advanced. By December 2014, the number of LTE-Advanced networks had increased to 33 commercial networks worldwide, all of which had utilized Carrier Aggregation. Carrier Aggregation allows operators the ability to utilize disparate spectrum bands to create larger spectrum swaths to increase efficiencies and download speeds.
“We expect almost all operators to deploy LTE-Advanced which has a vigorous roadmap of technological innovation,” commented Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. “LTE technology and its evolution will provide the mobile broadband foundation for future 5G technologies.”
LTE-Advanced will continue to evolve through LTE-Advanced Pro (3GPP Release 13 and beyond) even as 5G technologies are standardized in Release 14 and onward. It is expected that 5G technologies will interoperate with existing LTE-Advanced networks to provide subscribers with a seamless mobile broadband experience.
Key facts on LTE and LTE-Advanced include:
- 430 commercial LTE networks
- 100 commercial LTE-Advanced networks
- 907 million total LTE subscribers; expected forecast of 3.6 billion by 2020
- 68 commercial LTE networks deployed in U.S. and Canada
- 7 commercial LTE-Advanced networks deployed in U.S. (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and Redzone Wireless) and Canada (Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus)
- 219 million total LTE subscribers; expected forecast of 392 million by 2020
- 71 commercial LTE networks in 25 countries
- 35 million total LTE subscribers; expected forecast of 259 million by 2020
Vicki Livingston, Head of Communications at 4G Americas stated, “In October, the global standardization group, 3GPP, announced a new technology advancement moniker for the evolution beyond LTE-Advanced called LTE-Advanced Pro. This will be a stepping stone for future network needs as well as the 5G ecosystem. 5G development is the focus of much of the industry; however, LTE-Advanced will continue to evolve with creative new features to serve customers for many years before 5G networks are commercially deployed in 2020 and beyond.”
The topic of LTE-Advanced and its evolution to 5G was prevalent at this year’s LTE North America as 4G Americas hosted the premiere of 5G World North America. The conference addressed 5G networks of 2020 and beyond, use cases, technology recommendations, spectrum requirements and innovations as well as the new technology features for LTE through LTE-Advanced Pro that will provide the mobile broadband foundation for 5G. A key discussion from the conference was the roadmap of innovation from LTE-Advanced to 5G.