LTE to 5G November 2020: Global Market Status

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LTE to 5G November 2020: Global Market Status

Evolution from LTE to 5G:

November 2020

Introduction

LTE is a global success with over 5.4 billion subscriptions, connecting nearly 60% of mobile users worldwide, and it is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. 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:

  • 905 operators which have stated plans to invest or are actively investing in LTE for public networks, including those evaluating/testing and trialling LTE and those paying for suitable spectrum licences (excludes those using technology-neutral licences exclusively for 2G or 3G services).
  • 806 operators running LTE networks providing mobile and/or FWA services in 237 countries/territories worldwide.
  • 224 commercial VoLTE networks in 104 countries/territories and a total of 273 operators investing in VoLTE in 120 countries/territories.
  • 324 deployed/launched LTE-Advanced networks in 145 countries/territories. Overall, 357operators are investing in LTE-Advanced technology in 153 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).
  • 217 operators deploying or operating TDD-based LTE or 5G networks.
  • 158 operators investing in NB-IoT in 76 countries/territories (down on previous report due to company mergers and two operators recently retiring NB-IoT investments); of these, 110 NB-IoT networks are deployed/launched in 60 countries/territories.
  • Seventy operators are investing in LTE-M/Cat-M1 in 40 countries/territories; of these, 50 LTE-M/Cat-M1 networks are deployed/commercially launched in 33 countries/territories.
  • 409 operators in 129 countries/territories are investing in 5G mobile or 5G FWA/home broadband networks.
  • 125 operators in 52 countries/territories who have (as of mid-November 2020) announced 3GPP-compatible 5G service launches (either mobile or FWA).
  • GSA has identified 58 operators investing in 5G standalone for public networks in the form of trials, plans, paying for licences, deploying or operating networks.

LTE to 5G November 2020: Global Market Status

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LTE to 5G November 2020: Global Market Status

©GSA 2020