The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an update to its Evolution to LTE report, which confirms that 101 firm LTE network deployments are in progress or planned in 41 countries. The GSA Evolution to LTE Report covers both LTE FDD and LTE TDD modes and divulges that the number of network commitments is 71 percent higher than GSA reported in a similar survey six months earlier.
This figure includes three LTE systems that have launched commercial service in Sweden, Norway and Uzbekistan, and the GSA anticipates up to 22 LTE networks will be in commercial service by the end of 2010. Another 31 operators are engaged in various LTE pilot trials and technology tests, which means that 132 operators are now investing in LTE in 56 countries. Significantly, the recently concluded BWA spectrum auction in India has paved the way for early and large scale introduction of TDD LTE into the world's fastest developing market.
Governments around the world are preparing the way to ensure the availability of spectrum to support delivery of next generation mobile broadband services for the mass market, by allocating or preparing for the release of new spectrum such as 2.6 GHz, and in the digital dividend (700 MHz, 800 MHz) bands, or re-farming existing spectrum, e.g. 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, etc., or facilitating a combination of new and re-farmed bands. The report notes that several trial licenses have been granted in many countries to allow operators to familiarize with the technology, capabilities and performance aspects.