LTE devices growing rapidly in number

Close to 100 modems, routers, notebooks and modules have so far been launched

The number of devices and modules that come equipped with LTE has grown to 98, according to a report from industry organization GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association).

That compares to 63 LTE (Long-Term Evolution) devices in the beginning of February. The increase confirms that an ecosystem for LTE is rapidly being established, the GSA said in a statement on Wednesday.

However, the number of LTE products still pales in comparison to other more established technologies. For example, as of the beginning of February, 2,922 HSPA-equipped products had been launched, according to the GSA.

Most LTE devices are routers and USB modems, with about 30 product models in each of those two categories, according to GSA's data. There are fewer phones, tablets and notebooks. There are six phones on GSA's list, including four that have been introduced for Verizon Wireless' LTE network and two for MetroPCS' network.

The use of a wide variety of spectrum bands to roll out LTE means not all products can be used on all networks. The 700MHz band is the most popular frequency among device and module manufacturers, again reflecting the head start the U.S. has over the rest of the world. Verizon Wireless' LTE push is proving attractive to device manufacturers, according to GSA president Alan Hadden.

Still, there is also a growing number of products that allow users to access LTE on multiple spectrum bands. That could open the door for data using LTE abroad, but only if operators first sign roaming agreements.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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