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 to nab Nextel Mexico for $1.88B from bankrupt NII Holdings

AT&T said it will acquire the Mexican wireless assets of bankrupt NII Holdings for $1.875 billion, less outstanding net debt. The deal marks AT&T's latest expansion south of the U.S border following its $2.5 billion purchase of Mexican carrier Iusacell, which closed earlier this month.

Verizon resilient in Q4 with 2M new postpaid subs

Verizon Wireless delivered strong subscriber growth in the fourth quarter, beating financial analysts' expectations, but the carrier also saw higher than usual churn and its margins dipped amid increasing promotions. Taken together, the results show that while Verizon continues to show resilience it is not immune to rising competition from Sprint, T-Mobile US and AT&T Mobility.

T-Mobile's MetroPCS, Verizon beef up data offerings for prepaid plans

Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US' MetroPCS prepaid brand launched dueling new offers aimed at enticing prepaid customers to sign up and use more data. Verizon's new pricing comes a week after T-Mobile unveiled new prepaid plans under its "Simply Prepaid" brand starting at $40 per month.

Dell'Oro: LTE macro and small cell RAN market to exceed $24B by 2019

Strong growth in LTE and small cells is expected to almost offset declining spending on 2G and 3G technologies in the coming few years, according to latest forecasts by Dell'Oro Group.

Report: Global mobile connections to reach almost 9.5B in 2019

Global mobile connections are projected to increase to almost 9.5 billion in 2019 from around 6.9 billion in 2014, as mobile devices including phones, tablets and connected cars proliferate.

Analyst: Sprint to spend around $500M per year on small cells

Sprint  is preparing to add small cells to its network to expand the reach of its LTE service, and that effort will most likely cost the carrier around $500 million per year in labor and hardware costs, according to estimates from one Wall Street analyst firm.

Vodafone now covers 50% of UK population with LTE

Vodafone UK said its LTE network now covers around 50 per cent of the UK population, meaning that the operator is moving closer to its goal of achieving indoor LTE coverage of 98 per cent of the population by the end of 2015.

GSA: 96 LTE networks commercially launched in 2014

Some 96 LTE networks were launched in 27 countries in 2014, taking the total number of commercial LTE networks to 360 in 124 countries by the end of the year according to latest figures released by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

EE reaches 7.7M LTE subscribers

EE, currently the target of former UK incumbent BT, said it now has 7.7 million subscribers on its LTE (or 4G) network, representing an increase of 5.7 million users in the past 12 months.

Ericsson, T-Mobile push unlicensed LTE into limelight as '4.5G' technology for IoT

LAS VEGAS--Unlicensed spectrum finally seems to be getting some love from the cellular industry. The demand for licensed spectrum appears to have renewed industry interest in unlicensed radio waves. Highlighting this recent interest in unlicensed spectrum are T-Mobile US and Ericsson, which this week announced they plan to trial "License Assisted Access" technology in the 5 GHz band sometime this year.