Long Term Evolution (LTE) is considered a 4G network technology. According to the GSMA, the trade group that promotes the GSM family of technologies, LTE is the next step from 3G/WCDMA & HSPA for many already on the GSM technology curve. Interestingly, though, a number of carriers across the world on the CDMA technology path have opted to switch to LTE for their 4G network upgrades. According to the GSMA, LTE is designed to be backwards-compatible with GSM and HSPA, and incorporates Multiple In Multiple Out (MIMO) technology in combination with Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) in the downlink and Single Carrier FDMA in the uplink to provide high levels of spectral efficiency. LTE can support channel bandwidths from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz and both FDD and TDD operation. Commercial LTE service was first launched in December 2009 in Scandinavia by TeliaSonera. In 2010, carriers in the U.S. and Japan both released commercial LTE services. In the United States, MetroPCS offers LTE service in the AWS spectrum band, while Verizon Wireless offers LTE service in the 700 MHz spectrum band. Verizon said its LTE network, which it brands as a 4G service, provides average download speeds of 5-12 Mbps. AT&T Mobility is planning to launch LTE service in the United States in 2011, and Clearwire is testing LTE service in the TDD and FDD configurations. Sprint Nextel also is keeping open the possibility of launching LTE service. LTE-Advanced is the next step up in the evolution of LTE. According to the GSMA, LTE-Advanced “extends the technological principles behind LTE into a further step change in data rates. Incorporating higher order MIMO (4x4 and beyond) and allowing multiple carriers to be bonded together into a single stream, target peak data rates of 1 Gbps have been set.”

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AT&T looks to expand drone program

Flying drones might sound like a fun hobby, but some RF engineers are making it part of their job, going so far as to envision flying COWs, or cells on wings, to provide LTE coverage at concerts or during emergencies.

AT&T officially throws hat into the ring for FirstNet

AT&T had indicated it would be an aggressive participant in the FirstNet bidding process, and CFO and Senior Executive Vice President John Stephens made it official Thursday during the company's second-quarter earnings call, saying AT&T has submitted a bid for the FirstNet business.

Qualcomm CEO bullish about prospects for 5G

Even executives at Qualcomm, which is trying to drive 5G as fast as it can, may need to adjust their expectations due to the speed at which the industry is moving to the next generation of wireless.

Nokia to deploy cloud packet core upgrade on Tele2 LTE networks

Tele2 agreed a multi-market core network upgrade deal with Nokia covering the rollout of the vendor's cloud packet core system, in a move Nokia said will boost the Sweden-based operator's LTE capabilities and pave the way for deploying 5G technology.

LTE to remain 'a very relevant topic' for years

Mobile markets around the world are on the cusp of a major transition as carriers progress toward 5G and as proprietary network providers gain traction in the burgeoning IoT. Meanwhile, LTE penetration in the U.S. hit 78 percent last year, according to OpenSignal, and it's substantially higher in markets such as Japan and South Korea.  

European operators on why LTE remains relevant

Given all the talk and momentum around 5G, it's easy to forget that LTE and LTE-Advanced still have a long life ahead. Operators in the United States, like AT&T, have long stressed the importance of seeing 5G through the standards process before anybody gets too gung-ho about the prospects for full-blown commercial 5G networks.

Austria's A1 offers 100 Mbps speeds in 'hybrid' fixed-mobile service

A1, the domestic telecoms unit of Telekom Austria, unveiled plans to combine fixed and mobile technology in a new "hybrid" service that allows the provision of home broadband services at speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

LTE still relevant despite a burgeoning 5G and IoT landscape

Long Term Evolution (LTE) doesn't seem to have lasted very long when you consider the prominence of news regarding the next generation of technologies including Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G.

Nokia claims Russian first after aggregating FDD-TDD for MTS

Nokia announced it completed the first commercial deployment of FDD-TDD carrier aggregation (CA) in Russia after a launch on MTS' LTE network in Moscow.

Verizon to shut down 2G CDMA 1X network by the end of 2019

Verizon confirmed to FierceWireless that it is currently planning to shut down its CDMA 1X network by Dec. 31, 2019. However, the carrier said it would work with its current CDMA 1X customers and would consider operating its CDMA 1X network into 2020 if those customers need more time to move onto Verizon's LTE network.