What is LTE? The Technology of an LTE Network
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Just as everyone is getting comfortable with 3G technologies, smartphone manufacturers are now boasting LTE and 4G LTE capabilities. While four sounds better than three, what does the acronym LTE really mean?
What is LTE?
Long Term Evolution (LTE) stands for the project name of the current standard in mobile technology that allows wireless operators to send data back and forth faster than ever. LTE networks deliver data at speeds of up to 100Mbps in the downlink and 50Mbps in the uplink – 10 times faster than the 3G speeds many smartphone users currently have. LTE technology makes mobile browsing speeds comparable to those experienced on a home computer connected to a DSL.
According to 3GPP, the overseeing body that developed LTE technology, there were several motivating factors in developing a faster network, including the desire to meet consumer demand for higher data rates and quality of service while simultaneously lowering costs.
What is 4G LTE?
4G LTE is used to describe the fourth generation of wireless networks, which is run on LTE technology. According to Verizon, one of the initial providers of 4G LTE service, mobile phone users with that faster technology can download pictures and stream videos with no delay.Even though it's still in its infancy, research from Parks Associates shows that as of June 2012, 83 wireless carriers in 43 countries had launched LTE networks. Forty more plan to deploy LTE technology by the end of the year. Parks Associates estimates 4G LTE subscribership will increase from 9 million in 2011 to more than 560 million in 2016.
What is LTE Advanced?
LTE Advanced is a faster version of the LTE technology that is currently being used. LTE Advanced is still being fine-tuned, and when finished it is expected to increase data speeds to as much as 1 Gigabit per second. The LTE Advanced technology also will boost capacity, since operators will have the ability to use multiple antennas to let more subscribers share a network. Despite wireless carriers promoting their 4G LTE services, LTE Advanced is the technology that must be used to have true 4G capabilities, according to the International Telecommunications Union. While some wireless carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile are committed to launching products with LTE Advanced technology by the end of next year, most carriers aren't expected to do so until 2015. Widespread deployment isn't expected until 2017.