LTE to 5G: June 2021 – Global Update

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LTE to 5G: June 2021 – Global Update

LTE is a global success with over 5.8 billion subscriptions, connecting over 62% of mobile users worldwide. LTE is specified by 3GPP as a single global standard for paired and unpaired spectrum users. The vast majority of the standard is the same for FDD and TDD. LTE has evolved through various 3GPP technology releases, covering the introduction of LTE-Advanced and then LTE-Advanced Pro, that have significantly improved the capabilities of LTE networks. From 3GPP Release 15 onwards, the community has been defining 5G networks, starting with Non-Standalone 5G systems that integrate with existing LTE networks and then moving on to Standalone 5G systems with substantially different network configurations. GSA’s Evolution from LTE to 5G report provides an independent in-depth status view and analysis of the global 4G/LTE, LTE-Advanced and 5G markets, supported by facts, and confirms technology trends. Information is obtained, analysed and verified by GSA. The report is published quarterly and referenced by industry across the whole ecosystem.

Key market facts

There are:

  • 811 operators running LTE networks providing mobile and/or FWA services in 240 countries/territories worldwide.
  • a total of 281 operators investing in VoLTE in 128 countries/territories, of which 228 have launched commercial VoLTE networks in 108 countries/territories.
  • 328 launched LTE-Advanced networks in 148 countries/territories. Overall, 361 operators are investing in LTE-Advanced technology in 156 countries/territories.
  • Twelve launched networks that support user equipment (UE) at Cat-18 DL speeds within limited geographic areas and six of these supporting Cat-19 (in a limited area).
  • 252 operators deploying or operating TDD-based LTE or 5G networks.
  • 443 operators in 133 countries/territories investing in 5G mobile or 5G FWA/home broadband networks.
  • 169 operators in 70 countries/territories who have (as of mid-March 2021) announced 3GPP-compatible 5G service launches (either mobile or FWA).

GSA has identified 79 operators in 42 countries investing in 5G standalone for public networks in the form of trials, plans, paying for licences, deploying, or operating networks.

LTE to 5G: June 2021 – Global Update

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LTE to 5G: June 2021 - Global Update

© GSA 2021