GSA: Status of the Global LTE TDD Market

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This GSA report considers deployments, trials, studies etc. only by public telecommunications services operators. …

This GSA report considers deployments, trials, studies etc. only by public telecommunications services operators.

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  • 1. Status of the Global LTE TDD Market 87 commercial LTE TDD networks in deployment or firmly planned - including 39 commercially launched networks in 26 countries Report published by GSA Global mobile Suppliers Association August 8, 2014 © GSA – Global mobile Suppliers Association
  • 2. 1 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market | 8/8/2014 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market 87 commercial LTE TDD networks in deployment or firmly planned - including 39 commercially launched networks in 26 countries LTE is a mainstream technology delivering capacity, data throughput enhancements and low latency to support existing and new services and features requiring higher levels of capability and performance to approaching 300 million users (Q2 2014, GSA estimate). The primary drive to LTE from operators is the need for more capacity, performance management and improved efficiencies. LTE is the next step in the user experience. 318 LTE operators have commercially launched services in 111 countries (source: GSA’s Evolution to LTE report, July 28, 2014). Interest in LTE TDD (TD-LTE) is global and strengthening. GSA confirms that around 1 in 8 commercial LTE networks incorporate the TDD mode. 39 LTE TDD systems are commercially launched in 26 countries, including 13 operators who have deployed both FDD and TDD modes in their mobile operations. (This report considers deployments, trials, studies etc. only by public telecommunications services operators) Download the above map from
  • 3. 2 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market | 8/8/2014 LTE is an open standard developed by 3GPP. The 3GPP LTE standard is designed to deliver peak downlink data rates up to 300 Mbps. The advanced technological performance of LTE came with in-built flexibility to operate in either paired (FDD, or Frequency Division Duplexing, mode) or unpaired (TDD, or Time Division Duplexing mode) spectrum and various channel bandwidths – all with a single technology. Companies from around the globe contributed to the LTE standard and its evolution. The emphasis was always to leverage synergies between the two duplex modes to the largest extent possible. This allows operators to best utilize their current network assets, spectrum allocations and various bandwidth needs, while securing support, choice and economies of scale from the global vendor ecosystem, and limit potential market fragmentation. The result is major commonality of the LTE specifications for the FDD and TDD modes. The vast majority of the LTE standard is identical for both modes. Each mode, FDD or TDD, delivers similar performance and benefits equivalently from evolution of the standard. This has been a major contributor to LTE’s global market success. The TDD mode of LTE is the most efficient and highest performing RAN technology for operators with unpaired spectrum. Due to the demand for radio technologies for unpaired bands and leveraging the commonalities above, LTE TDD can exploit global economies of scale similar to LTE FDD, with a short time to market as a mainstream technology. LTE TDD is an ideal system choice for WiMAX™ operators to grow their business, and many have deployed deploy LTE TDD systems for their operations. LTE TDD provides a future-proof evolutionary path for TD-SCDMA (another 3GPP standard), which is widely deployed in China. Within the globally assigned IMT bands for mobile services, significant resources are suitable for LTE TDD. Amongst the largest contiguous bands are 2.3 GHz (band 40), 2.6 GHz (band 38), and 3.5 GHz (bands 42/43). Band 40 is currently used in twice as many networks as the next nearest unpaired spectrum choice (band 38), the next then being band 41. The decision by operators in China to deploy the TDD mode of LTE (referred to as TD-LTE) ensures that a large-scale market and robust ecosystem will be established, benefitting all TDD markets and LTE generally. MIIT issued LTE TDD licences to China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom on December 4, 2013. China Mobile commercially launched LTE TDD on December 18, 2013 in Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing, in bands 39, 40 and 41. 320,000 base station sites were activated by June 2014 and LTE roaming agreements were established with 8 operators (targeting 23 by end 2014). On November 13, 2013 China Mobile, working with SK Telecom, completed the first FDD-TDD VoLTE interoperability tests. China Mobile deployed VoLTE supporting eSRVCC on its LTE TDD network in Guanghzou. China Mobile has announced targets for 2014 including 500,000 base stations deployed across 340 major cities, and 100 million LTE TDD user terminal sales. China Telecom commercially launched LTE TDD service in bands 40 and 41 on February 14, 2014, initially offering service in almost 100 cities. More than 10 data devices (dongles, portable hotspots, CPE) were offered at launch with 7 pricing plans.
  • 4. 3 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market | 8/8/2014 China Unicom commercially launched LTE TDD service in bands 40 and 41 on March 18, 2014 in 25 cities, and plans to cover 100 cities by end 2014. China Telecom and China Unicom both received FDD trial licences from MIIT in June 2014. China Unicom plans to deploy FDD-TDD technology in 16 cities: Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Xi’an, Changsha, Jinan, Hangzhou, Shenyang, Harbin, Fuzhou, Nanjing and Shijiazhuang. China Telecom will also trial FDD in 16 cities: Shanghai, Xi'an, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing, Jinan, Hefei, Shijiazhuang, Haikou, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Nanchang, Nanning and Lanzhou. According to MIIT, the number of LTE subscribers in China was 14 million at end June 2014. China Mobile has 10 million of them in more than 300 cities. Convergence of FDD and TDD modes in network deployments is a key trend. By aggregating spectrum resources in multiple bands, operators can significantly increase throughput speeds. FDD and TDD spectrum carrier aggregation also allows load balancing between the FDD and TDD networks. Both SK Telecom and Korea Telecom demonstrated TDD-FDD carrier aggregation. Operators in India including Bharti Airtel and Aircel are planning converged FDD-TDD networks. Following the spectrum auctions in India, during which many operators won technology neutral 1800 MHz licenses. The newly-acquired spectrum will be used for LTE FDD alongside existing 2.3 GHz LTE TDD spectrum. Operators planning to deploy a converged LTE FDD 1800 MHz and TDD 2.3 GHz network are supported by 152 user devices (including operator and frequency variants) that support both band 3 and band 40, according to GSA’s mobile broadband devices data (July 2014). More information on LTE TDD devices follows. On June 11, 2014 at Mobile Asia Expo 2014 in Shanghai, SK Telecom working with its infrastructure partner and using LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation to combine 200 MHz bandwidth (9 TDD carriers and 1 FDD carrier) achieved a peak downlink throughput of 3.8 Gbps, which was claimed to be a world record. China Mobile and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (India) gave a joint demonstration of VoLTE using LTE TDD in February 2014, which was claimed to be the first demonstration of VoLTE interworking between 2 LTE TDD operators. The total number of LTE TDD subscribers worldwide was reported to have reached 12.48 million by Q1 2014 and is forecast to increase to 70.4 million by end 2014, according to Digitimes Research. 6 LTE TDD network using 3.5/3.6 GHz (bands 42 or 43) are commercially launched - in Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, The Philippines, Spain and the UK. Several other operators with 3.5 GHz spectrum are deploying or planning LTE TDD systems, including in Azerbaijan, Croatia, France,
  • 5. 4 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market | 8/8/2014 Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia, as confirmed in this report. Softbank’s affiliate company Wireless City Planning plans to expand its band 41 LTE TDD network from 47,000 eNodeBs (October 2013) to 54,000 during 2014. Softbank has also conducted extensive trials of LTE TDD technology using 3.5 GHz spectrum (band 42), including 5-carrier LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation. In December 2012, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on a new Citizens Broadband Radio Service in the 3550-3650 MHz band in the United States. Following two workshops and discussions with user groups, the FCC is currently seeking comment on a proposal to extend the band to 3700 MHz (therefore 150 MHz in total) for general consumer use, carrier-grade small cell deployments, fixed wireless broadband services and other innovative uses, and to introduce spectrum sharing techniques to ensure protection from harmful interference for targeted priority access licences covering various uses, including mobile broadband. The UK Ministry of Defence is preparing to release 190 MHz of spectrum to UK regulator Ofcom to allocate available for commercial use. It includes 40 MHz in the 2.3 GHz band and 150 MHz above 3.4 GHz for TDD deployments. Ofcom envisages the allocation, which could be by auction, would be completed in the 2015-2016 financial year. See GSA’s Evolution to LTE report (July 28, 2014) for further information about the commitment level and deployment status per operator, commercial launches, and regulatory developments including spectrum management and assignments covering both TDD and FDD deployments). Sign in and follow the link to the Evolution to LTE report on Registration page for new users
  • 6. 5 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market | 8/8/2014 39 commercially launched LTE TDD networks in 26 countries Country Operator TDD frequency TDD band(s) LTE mode(s) Australia NBN Co. 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Australia Optus 2.3 GHz 40 TDD + FDD Bahrain Menatelecom 3.5 GHz 42 TDD Belgium b•lite 3.5 GHz 42 TDD Brazil On Telecomunicacoes 2.6 GHz 38 TDD Brazil Sky Brasil Services 2.6 GHz 38 TDD Canada ABC Communications 3.5 GHz 42 TDD Canada Sasktel 2.6 GHz 41 TDD + FDD China China Mobile Various 39/40/41 TDD China China Telecom 2.6 GHz 40, 41 TDD China China Unicom 2.6 GHz 40, 41 TDD Côte d'Ivoire YooMee 2.6 GHz 40 TDD Hong Kong China Mobile Hong Kong 2.3 GHz 40 TDD + FDD India Aircel 2.3 GHz 40 TDD India Bharti Airtel 2.3 GHz 40 TDD (deploying FDD band 3) Indonesia PT Internux 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Japan Softbank XGP/LTE TDD 2.6 GHz 41 TDD + FDD Madagascar Blueline 2.6 GHz 41 TDD Nigeria Spectranet 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Nigeria Swift Networks 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Oman Omantel 2.3 GHz 40 TDD + FDD Philippines PLDT 3.5 GHz 42 TDD Poland Aero2 2.6 GHz 38 TDD + FDD Russia Megafon / Moscow 2.6 GHz 38 TDD + FDD Russia MTS / Moscow 2.6 GHz 38 TDD + FDD Russia Vainakh Telecom 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Saudi Arabia Mobily 2.6 GHz 38 TDD + FDD Saudi Arabia STC 2.3 GHz 40 TDD + FDD South Africa Telkom Mobile (8ta) 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Spain COTA/Murcia4G 2.6 GHz 38 TDD Spain Neo-Sky 3.5 GHz 42 TDD Sri Lanka Dialog Axiata 2.3 GHz 40 TDD + FDD Sri Lanka Lanka Bell 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Sri Lanka SLT 2.6 GHz 38 TDD Sweden 3 Sweden 2.6 GHz 38 TDD + FDD Uganda MTN 2.6 GHz 41 TDD UK UK Broadband 3.5 GHz 42, 43 TDD USA Sprint 2.6 GHz 41 TDD + FDD Vanuatu WanTok 2.3 GHz 40 TDD Commercial launch is defined on page 1 of GSA’s latest Evolution to LTE report (download from 48 LTE TDD commercial networks are in deployment or firmly planned Country Operator Band Country Operator Band Angola Multitel 42 Iraq MaxyTel To be confirmed Azerbaijan Sazz 42, 43 Iraq Tishknet To be confirmed Bangladesh Banglalion 38 Ireland Imagine Group 42, 43 Bangladesh Ollo/BIEL 38 Italy AFT-Linkem 42, 43 Bangladesh Qubee 38 Malaysia Asiaspace 40 Belgium BUCD 38 Malaysia P1 40 Cameroon YouMee 41 Malaysia YTL 40 Costa Rica IBW Intl 40 Mongolia Ulusnet 42 Côte d'Ivoire VipNet To be confirmed Montenegro Velatel 42 Croatia Velatel 42 Nepal Nepal Telecom 40 Denmark 3 Denmark 38 Nicaragua IBW Intl 40 Dominican Rep Wind Telecom 38 Nigeria Bitflux 40 El Salvador IBW Intl 40 Nigeria Mobitel 40 Finland Datame 38 Nigeria Zoda Fones 38 France Bollore 42 Poland Milmex 42 Germany DBD 42 Puerto Rico Aeronet 41
  • 7. 6 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market | 8/8/2014 Ghana Blu Telecoms Limited 38 Romania 2K Telecom 38 Guatemala IBW Intl 40 Russia Osnova Tel. 40 Hong Kong 3 HK 40 Russia Rostelecom 40 India RJI/RIL 40 + FDD band 3 Russia Smoltelecom 42 India Tikona Digital 40 Saudi Arabia ITC 42 Indonesia First Media 40 Somalia Sahal Telecoms To be confirmed Indonesia IM2 40 UK NSV (BT) 38 Iran MTC To be confirmed USA nTelos/DISH 41 A number of additional operators are engaged in LTE TDD trials or studies, or have been allocated LTE TDD spectrum allocations but not yet committed to deploy an LTE TDD network , including Hutchison 3 (Austria), Xplornet (Canada), Orange (France), E Plus (Germany), 21 Vianet Group (Hong Kong), BSNL, MTNL (India), Berca Hardayaperkasa (Indonesia), 3 Italia (Italy), Kordia, Woosh (New Zealand), G-Kwiknet (Ghana), NITA (Ghana), Nawras (Oman), Slovak Telecom (Slovak Republic), Si.mobil (Slovenia), KT, SK Telecom (South Korea), R Cable y Telecomunicaciones Galicia (Spain), Chunghwa, FarEasTone, Global Mobile Corp., Fitel (Taiwan), AIS-TOT (Thailand), Vodafone (UK), Dedicado (Uruguay), Xplornet (USA), Movilmax (Venezuela), Indochina Telecom (Vietnam). Mature LTE TDD ecosystem: 530 user devices launched, 85 suppliers GSA researches and maintains a database of LTE FDD and TDD user devices. Key conclusions and data are published in GSA’s Status of the LTE Ecosystem reports. The report of July 14, 2014 confirmed 1,889 LTE user devices (including operator & frequency variants) announced by 168 suppliers. 530 of LTE devices (28%), which is 330 more than a year ago, can operate in LTE TDD mode (TD-LTE), supporting the growing number of LTE operators using unpaired spectrum. TDD devices are available in all form factors (see chart below). The number of TDD smartphones grew 87% since March 2014 to 184 products, as operators focus more on personal mobility. 12 months ago, 52% of LTE TDD devices at the time were routers (including personal hotspots), and smartphones had just 10% share. Now routers have 38% share, and smartphones have grown to 35% share of TDD devices. 96% of TDD smartphones are multimode, i.e. supporting one or more 3G system technologies as well as LTE TDD. Press release: LTE TDD devices are available in all form factors – see chart on left. Band 40 361 devices Band 38 360 devices Band 39 203 devices Band 41 183 devices Bands 42/43 24 devices 85 LTE TDD device manufacturers: Acer, Airspan, Amoi, Apple, Arcadyan, AsiaTelco, Asus, BandRich, BBK Electronics, BEC Technologies, Blackberry, Broadcom, Broadmobi, C-motech, China Mobile, Comba, D-Link, Datang, Desay, Disney Mobile, Dovado, E-Lins Technology, Ericsson, FIC, Fujitsu, GCT, Gemtek Technology, GD Broadband, GiONEE, Goophone, Greenpacket, Hisense, Hojy Wireless, HTC, Huawei, Huayu Wireless, Infomark, Innofidei, K-Touch, Koobee, Kyocera, Lava, Leadcore, Lenovo, LG, Longcheer, Maysunm, MediaTek, Mitrastar Corp, Modacom, Motorola, Navtech, Netcomm, Netgear, NetGem, Nokia (Microsoft), Novatel Wireless, NSN (Nokia), NTmore, Oppo, Option, Pinyon Technologies, Qualcomm, Quanta Computer, Samsung, Seiko, Seowon Intech, Sequans, Shanghai Bell, Sharp, SignShine, Sony Mobile, Sunnada, T-elek, T&W Electronics, TCL, THL Mobile, Tricheer, Uniscope, UTStar, Vivo, WeTelecom, Yota Devices, Yulong Computer, ZTE.
  • 8. 7 Status of the Global LTE TDD Market | 8/8/2014 The ecosystem for dual mode LTE TDD and FDD user devices Converged LTE TDD and FDD networks are commercially launched by 13 operators. Several more are in deployment or planned; convergence is a major industry trend. Many LTE user devices can support both TDD and FDD modes. More analysis of the whole LTE TDD (and FDD) devices ecosystem (1,889 devices) is available using GSA’s GAMBoD tool (access restrictions apply – see Some operators in India are deploying LTE using TDD band 40 (2.3 GHz) and FDD band 3 (1800 MHz) spectrum. It is interesting to understand the status of the device ecosystem for this combination. By using GSA’s LTE devices database and GAMBoD tool, 152 user devices supporting bands 3 and 40 are confirmed by 46 suppliers. 59 products are smartphones from 18 suppliers, including many leading brands and models (check availability for your market). Additional LTE TDD resources, useful links (log in to and visit ◊ The full spectrum of possibilities (Huawei White Paper) ◊ LTE TDD: the global solution for unpaired spectrum (Qualcomm presentation) ◊ Charts, maps used in this report, others ( Register for updates and to download reports, information papers, maps, charts, etc: LINKEDIN GROUPS ◊ LTE TDD ◊ LTE User Devices ABOUT GSA GSA (the Global mobile Suppliers Association) is a member/subscriber-based organization representing and reporting on mobile communications progress worldwide, from infrastructure, semiconductors, devices, services and applications development to market acceptance, support services and new development. In more than 200 countries, the GSA website is relied on by industry organizations, analysts, vendors, operators, policy makers, media and others for timely, accurate reports with facts based on constant, operator verified criteria applied for responsible tracking and forecasts. GSA is a unique single information resource for surveys, market/technology/subscriptions updates, information papers, status reports on GSM/EDGE-WCDMA/ HSPA/HSPA+/LTE/LTE-Advanced operator commitments and network deployments, devices ecosystems, applications/services, operator case studies, success stories, and developments in the evolution to 5G. GSA advises governments, administrations and policy-makers on optimum conditions for market development. Briefings are given to media and analysts. Additional resources and opportunities are available for Member companies. The New Ventures Program assists start-up wireless application developers with access to the global market. Fixed and mobile network operators are supported via the Operators Zone, and through practical information-sharing activities including the GSA Mobile Broadband Forum. GSA is a Market Representation Partner in 3GPP and co-operates with other key organisations including COAI, ETSI, GSM Association, ICU and the ITU. GSA strives at all times to ensure that the information provided is always as accurate as possible. The content contained in this report is based on information provided to GSA in good faith but such information cannot always be fully guaranteed and at all times. Therefore such content is provided without warranty in currentness, completeness or correctness. Errors and Omissions Excepted. Updates are welcome by email to Copyright © GSA – Global mobile Suppliers Association. Reproduction of this material for non-commercial use is allowed if the source is stated. For other use please contact the GSA Secretariat via email to