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LTE devices surge, driven by LTE-A compatibility, GSA finds


More than 300 companies are producing LTE devices, with over a third now supporting carrier aggregation, new figures have shown.

The latest report from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) found there have been 1,364 new LTE devices launched since July of last year. The amount of companies releasing LTE devices now sits at 305, up 81 percent on last year.

The GSA said manufacturers are speeding up production of LTE-A devices, with 1,132 devices supporting Category 4 with its speeds of 150MBps. This accounts for 35 percent of all devices and includes the 108 products that support Category 6.

Last week, Russian operator MTS said it would roll out carrier aggregation across the country this year. It follows a recent announcement about the technology by Sunrise in Switzerland.

Smartphones remain the device of choice, with a share of 54.8 percent, or 1,783 products, of total.

Alan Hadden, VP of Research, GSA, said: “Dozens of new LTE terminals are being launched every week with a growing share incorporating LTE-Advanced technology. The number of Category 4 devices rose 63 percent in the past 4 months, however the range of Category 6 devices quadrupled in the same period.”

The 1800MHz continued to be the most popular band, thanks to its rich device ecosystem or 1,543 devices. The 2.6GHz band, with 1,381 products, and 2.1GHz, with 1,185 products, are the next most popular bands.

The report noted the increased support for TD-LTE technology, with 1,210 devices supporting it, a 37 percent share of total, up from 28 percent in July 2014.

Finally, there are now almost 200 smartphones supporting VoLTE, with devices built by the likes of Apple, Samsung, Sony Mobile and HTC.