TeleAnalytics: The LTE Adoption and Spectrum in 82 Countries and 189 Networks

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From the total number of LTE subscribers likely to exist at the end of 2015, 49.4% will be using the 2.6 GHz band and 40.5% will be using the UHF allocations (ex-Broadcast and ex-Military).

Only thirteen of the E-UTRA Classes (and a significantly higher number of frequency pairs) are currently used (or planned to be used) and their following in terms of LTE networks and LTE subs varies widely. The 2.6 GHz band that is likely to be used (plain or in frequency pairs) by 49.4% of the 2015 worldwide LTE subs is the leading LTE frequency allocation. On the other hand, almost all the developed world is gaining access to digital dividend (UHF) spectrum and ex-military UHF spectrum can also be made available in many former Soviet Republics. In total, 40.5% of the 2015 worldwide LTE subs will be on networks using UHF spectrum (plain or in frequency pairs)

The TeleAnalytics worldwide LTE-networks database, which is on an ongoing 20-days update cycle, currently provides detailed data for 189 LTE networks in 82 countries. All researched information, from LTE spectrum used to population coverage and LTE subs in any particular year is encoded down at the network level and therefore the database supports LTE data views of extreme accuracy and resolution and can provide for any relevant LTE need. The new TeleAnalytics LTE research report, “The LTE Spectrum, Deployments & Adoption in 82 Markets & 189 Networks (2010-15)”, is based on this unique LTE database and quantitatively addresses all LTE issues associated with LTE deployments, adoption and spectrum. The issue of LTE spectrum is exhaustively addressed (both regionally and worldwide) in terms of which networks and how many subs will use a particular E-UTRA band (or pair) in every year in the 2010-15 period. Some sample findings follow:

-- In all regions, LTE launches are spread over 4-5 years. The 50% point in the evolution of the number of LTE networks towards the 2015 maximum (189) networks is likely to be reached in very late 2012 or very early 2013. The corresponding 50% point of the also evolving number of LTE subs will not be reached before the end of 2014.

-- As mentioned, it is estimated that 49.4% of the 2015 worldwide LTE subs will be on single or multiband LTE networks that use the 2.6 GHz band. As analyzed in the report, the actual percentage of networks that utilize the 2.6 GHz band is even higher, but the fact that the band is not used in the major markets of the US (for the time being), Japan and Korea prevents the band from enjoying an even higher share of the 2015 LTE subs.

-- Although LTE proved to be highly democratic (deployed in Uzbekistan and Armenia before France or the UK), UHF LTE is almost totally a privilege of the developed world and also of some Soviet Republics (ex-military UHF). Regulatory half-promises in pre-ASO (Analog Switch Off) countries for making available to LTE part of the UHF have already proved empty. On the other hand, the fact that Digital Dividend spectrum is becoming available in almost all the developed world makes this band (both EU and US allocations) likely to be used by the above mentioned percentage (40.5%) of the 2015 worldwide LTE subs.

-- Due to fairly simple reasons detailed in the report, E-UTRA cellular classes are not often used. The currently actively promoted 1800 MHz band can not today hope for more than 0.9% of the 2015 LTE subs, a fact that evidently influences heavily the availability and pricing of 1800 MHz LTE terminal equipment. The prospects of the 1800 MHz band may improve due to German (T-Mobile) and Finnish (TeliaSonera) soul searching about how to move lower in spectrum (from the 2.6 GHz band) and also recent strong Korean petitioning for LTE usage of this band. It is noted that the Korean LTE allocations will not be finalized before mid 2011.

For more information (brochure) on the report please visit
http://www.teleanalytics.com/REPORT_PDFS/LTE-Spectrum.pdf

The Premiere Issue of the TeleAnalytics LTE Newsletter (“The LTE Review”) can be downloaded from
http://www.teleanalytics.com/REPORT_PDFS/LTE-REVIEW_1_1_March_2011.pdf

About TeleAnalytics:
For the last eleven years, TeleAnalytics (http://www.TeleAnalytics.com) consulting and market research services and publications have been addressing the needs of the hard core of the Wireless Broadband and Convergence-related industries.

Contact: Al Bane Sales Manager, Tel: +1 416 907 9052        

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