The number of mobile operators who have committed to deploy LTE advanced mobile broadband systems has more than doubled in the past year, according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) as confirmed in the April 2010 update of its Evolution to LTE Report. There are now 64 operators committed to LTE network deployments in 31 countries, compared to 31 network commitments identified by GSA in a similar study 12 months earlier.

LTE systems were commercially launched in December 2009 in Norway and Sweden, and LTE networks are now being installed or planned for commercial service in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, UAE, USA and Uzbekistan.

GSA forecasts that up to 22 LTE networks will be in commercial service by the end of 2010, and expects this figure to grow to 39 or more LTE networks commercially launched by the end of 2012.

The Evolution to LTE Report also confirms there are 24 additional operators who have decided to undertake technology tests or trials of LTE, from which additional commitments to deploy commercial systems are expected to follow in due course. These trials are taking place, or firmly scheduled to be undertaken, in 11 additional countries: Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Slovak Republic, Spain, UK and Ukraine.

Alan Hadden, President, GSA, said, “A total of 88 operators in 42 countries have now committed to deploy LTE systems or are engaged in trials or other planning/preparatory activities. Mobile broadband is a global success, driven by HSPA. While HSPA+ systems are meeting the challenge to deliver higher data capacities today, LTE brings the opportunity for additional spectrum, more capacity, lower cost, and is essential to take mobile broadband to the mass market.”