A mobile standards group found that LTE surpassed 3G as the “most certified mobile technology” for the first time in 2017.
The Global Certification Forum’s annual Mobile Device Trends report indicated that 57 manufacturers certified 521 mobile devices last year, a 10 percent increase from 2016.
The percentage of those devices that incorporated LTE increased from 76 percent in the previous report to 85 percent last year, while 3G slid from 85 percent to 82 percent to relinquish its spot atop the rankings after just one year.
Devices with the GSM standard for 2G networks also declined from 84 percent to 81 percent, but two-thirds of newly certified devices incorporated all three standards last year, up from 60 percent in 2016.
In addition, nearly half of the 82 certified single-mode devices incorporated LTE last year, which also led the GCF report for the first time.
Among other technologies, carrier aggregation was certified in 42 percent of all devices — and nearly half of LTE devices — after just 7 percent supported that technology the prior year. VoLTE was certified nearly half of last year’s devices and TD-LTE was incorporated in 40 percent.
“Across all certifications, the ‘average’ certified device in 2017 incorporated three technologies and 13.4 frequency bands,” GCF officials wrote.
Smartphones accounted for the majority of 2017’s certified devices at 55 percent, and the group also noted that it certified modules offering 3GPP LPWA IoT technologies — NB-IoT, LTE CAT M1 and EC-GSM — for the first time last year.