An update to the Status of the LTE Ecosystem report released by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) confirms that 87 manufacturers have announced 666 LTE-enabled user devices, including frequency and carrier variants.

Alan Hadden, President of the GSA, said: “Around 400 new LTE user devices were announced in the past year, and in this time the number of manufacturers grew by 52 percent. Smartphones are now the largest LTE device category.”

The GSA report was released on January 31, 2013 and examined devices that can operate on the FDD and/or TDD modes of the LTE system, tracking manufacturer names and models, form factors, operating frequencies, and fallback technologies that are also supported as customers move outside LTE coverage areas (i.e. to access HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPA+, EV-DO, or TD-SCDMA systems).

450 LTE devices can also operate on HSPA networks, including 201 products that incorporate 42 Mbps DC-HSPA+ capabilities. A total of 193 devices can operate on EV-DO systems. 221 LTE smartphones, including operator and frequency variants were confirmed, representing 360 percent year-on-year growth to become the largest LTE user device category.

Most LTE user devices operate in the 700 MHz band. However this is a broad definition encompassing 4 sub-bands and most of these devices operate in only one of those bands. Band 7 (2.6 GHz) has the highest support with the greatest number of compatible devices, followed by 1800 MHz (band 3) i.e. LTE1800. The number of LTE1800 devices more than tripled in the past year. GSA recently confirmed that 1800 MHz is the dominant band for LTE network deployments in virtually all regions of the world, and is used by 40 percent of all commercially launched LTE networks currently.

A user with a triband 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz LTE FDD device could potentially use it in 55 countries, i.e. in more than 80 percent of countries where LTE service is commercially available today (subject to inter-carrier roaming agreements). 124 devices can operate in the TDD mode of the LTE standard. Bands 38 (2.6 GHz) and 40 (2.3 GHz) have the largest ecosystems of user devices. Support for bands 41, 33, 42 and 43 is growing.