LTE-Advanced Network Deployment Gains Strong Global Momentum - Analyst Blog

Wireless network standards are continuously evolving around the globe to offer faster speed. After significant growth of the next-generation 4G LTE network deployment, LTE-A (Long-Term Evolution Advanced) wireless network standard is gradually finding solid foothold globally.

According to an estimate by ABI Research, there were 60 LTE-A network worldwide either in the form of commitments, trials or commercial deployment at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

LTE-A is the more powerful version of the legacy LTE network offering increased speed and network capacity. Carrier aggregation is the most important part of LTE-A technology as it allows wireless operators to create large spectrum assets by combining different frequency bands.

Notably, LTE-A also incorporates several technological advancements like Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP), Self-Optimizing Networks (SON), small cell enhancements, Enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) and advanced Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO) antenna.

In Jun 2013, SK Teleocm Co. Ltd. ( SKM ) of South Korea became the first wireless operator in the world to commercially launch LTE-A network using carrier aggregation. In Mar 2014, AT&T Inc. ( T ) became the first wireless operator in the U.S. to launch LTE-A services in Chicago. Other major wireless carriers, namely Verizon Communications Inc. ( VZ ), Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. are expected to follow suit in the 2014-2015 period.

A major spectrum auction will be conducted in the U.S. in Nov 2014. Available airwaves will of 1,700 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands. We believe that a large part of those spectrums may be used for deploying LTE-A networks.

Meanwhile, in Jun 2014, Samsung introduced Galaxy S5, world's first LTE-A Category 6 smartphone in South Korea. Qualcomm Inc. ( QCOM ) provided the chipset and modem for this device. Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 805 processor and Gobi 9x35 modem are jointly providing the basic technology and connectivity in Samsung's Galaxy S5.

The LTE-A Cat 6 smartphone provides download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and enhanced battery life. The Gobi 9x35 modem supports LTE-A carrier aggregation for both LTE TDD (Time Division Duplex) and FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) Category 6.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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