LTE-Advanced network deployments are becoming a tangible reality in 2014. As of the end of 1Q 2014, ABI Research estimates there were ~60 LTE-advanced trials, commitments and commercial deployments worldwide, of which 22 commitments were from Western Europe, 16 from Asia-Pacific, and 5 from North America. In addition, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is gaining market traction in 2014, providing voice services alongside LTE mobile broadband in a reliable and profitable way.
“Carrier aggregation (CA) is the most important feature of LTE-Advanced, which helps mobile carriers to utilize all spectrum resources to increase data rates. In France, Bouygues Telecom first utilized CA to launch LTE-Advanced in six cities in mid-June, 2014, while Orange France and SFR also announced they will commercially deploy LTE-Advanced,” comments Marina Lu, research analyst at ABI Research. “Apart from CA, LTE-Advanced also incorporates other enhancements, like advanced antenna techniques, interference management, and efficient use of heterogeneous networks.”
Globally, among the recently completed and near-term 4G spectrum auctions, about three-quarters of upcoming 4G spectrum auctions will take place in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. “To date, most of the mobile carriers in Europe and developed countries of Asia-Pacific and Middle East have already secured 4G spectrum,” says Jake Saunders, VP and practice director. “A major spectrum auction of 1,700 MHz and 2,100 MHz will take place in the United States in November 2014. Competition is expecting to be robust between the major United Sates carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, etc.”
ABI Research's “Wireless Spectrum, Services, and Technology Deployment Tracker” aims to provide a comprehensive source of information about mobile network providers, their operating spectra, and network technologies globally. It covers seven geographical regions and includes a comprehensive list of all operational wireless networks along with their operating frequency bands and wireless technologies. Also included is a summary of the major network supplier contracts awarded, by geography and network. These findings are part of ABI Research's Mobile Deployments, CAPEX, and Traffic Market Research.