There are now around 87 LTE-Advanced devices available, with operators in 20 countries having commercially launched networks to support them, the GSA finds.
The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) says these Cat 4 LTE-Advanced devices have peak downlink rates of up to 150 Mbit/s and include a mix of CPEs, personal hotspots, modules, smartphones, tablets, and dongles.
In their first phase of deployment, most of these LTE-Advanced networks only support carrier aggregation, one element of many that makes up the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 's release 10 standard. Carrier aggregation refers to the bonding of disparate bands of spectrum to increase both the capacity and speed of the network. (See: Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually).)
The GSA says that LTE-Advanced 300 Mbit/s systems, which support Cat 6 devices, will be the next step for these operators and are expected in service in mid-2014. Only two Cat 6 terminals are available today.
Samsung Corp. has been an early leader in LTE-Advanced devices, supporting the tech in its Galaxy S4 and Note 3. It plans to release more LTE-Advanced devices next year in the US, Japan, and Europe and said at its analyst day that LTE-Advanced will be a key growth driver for the company. LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) also supports the zippier network in the G2 smartphone. (See: LG's G2 Is Ready for LTE-Advanced.)
Overall, the GSA says there are 1,240 LTE-enabled user devices on the market, coming from 120 manufacturers, and built for the 222 LTE networks that have been commercially launched in 83 countries. For a snapshot of how they break down, including between FDD and TDD networks, check out the GSA's infographic below. (See: GSA: Over 1,000 LTE Devices Now Available.)
For more on LTE-Advanced deployments:
- EE Switches On LTE-Advanced in UK
- SKT's LTE-Advanced Subs Growing Fast
- SK Telecom Debuts LTE-Advanced
- T-Mobile to Debut LTE-A 'Features' in 2013
- Carriers Are a Mixed Bag on LTE-Advanced
- Sprint Plans LTE-Advanced Launch in 2013
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading