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GCF releases February 2024 Mobile Device Trends report

London (United Kingdom), February 15, 2024, — The Global Certification Forum (GCF) published its Mobile Device Trends February 2024 report, which includes an analysis of the 503 wireless devices certified by GCF in 2023. These devices came from 96 manufacturers around the world, a record number. The GCF is a research-based organization that focuses on the cable and telecommunications industry.

For the first time, this year’s report shows that in 2023 wireless modules were the category with the most certified devices. Modules now represent nearly 36% of all certified devices, surpassing smartphones, which accounted for 33% of certified devices.

In 2023, 38% of all devices and 60,5% of all smartphones integrated 5G technology, with 5G standalone (SA) operation supported by over 96% of 5G devices. The number of smartphones certified dropped, which follows an industry decline in total smartphone sales. The decrease is also due to a consolidation of the smartphone portfolios. Moreover, the decreased expense of integrating 5G prompted vendors to forgo separate LTE and 5G versions, a prior trend.

LTE was the most used wireless standard in devices certified by GCF in 2023, with 90% of all devices supporting it. An additional 36 devices incorporated LTE Cat. M1 – which (along with NB-IoT) was one of the two standards dominating Cellular IoT device certifications.

Legacy technologies, 3G and GSM continue to decline in certification numbers. GSM is proving more resilient than 3G, as it is retained as a backup technology for voice, emergency and M2M services. Furthermore, this aligns with the trend of more operators launching 5G services. More frequency bands (new or re-farmed from previous generations) are being used for these services.

GCF certification verifies the quality of the interoperability of mobile phones and other wireless devices with different network elements and vendors’ infrastructure. Combining conformance and interoperability tests conducted in laboratories with field trials on multiple commercial networks achieves this. GCF certification also validates interoperability with other services. GCF certifies hundreds of different device models each year. Moreover, the analysis of GCF’s certification listings provides insight into current trends within the mobile device market.

GCF’s Mobile Device Trends report contains detailed figures and analysis on a wide range of emerging and legacy technologies. It includes certifications in devices such as 5G, LTE, cellular IoT, eSIM, 3G, and GSM. The report also looks at some likely trends into 2024.

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