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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Mallinson: Why are there a lot of 'not-spots' in the UK despite mobile coverage obligations?

It seems regulators and governments prefer impressive-looking obligation targets that are actually rather easy to achieve, while taking as much money as they possibly can out of the mobile sector in spectrum fees. Instead, it would be better to find ways of keeping more money in the sector by reducing auction transfers so that investments in infrastructure and service quality on a more widespread basis can be increased.

Verizon's Shammo: We don't have a 'great need' for 600 MHz airwaves, remain focused on small cells

Verizon Wireless is not desperate for low-band spectrum and does not necessarily need to secure a trove of airwaves in next year's incentive auction of 600 MHz broadcast TV spectrum, according to Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo. The company may participate in the auction, but in the meantime, it is focused on densifying its network through small cells and refarming some of its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum.  

Verizon beats T-Mobile in postpaid net adds in Q2, thanks to tablets

Verizon Wireless edged out T-Mobile US in terms of postpaid subscriber additions in the second quarter, but relied far more heavily on adding tablet customers to do so. Despite losing feature phone and prepaid customers in the period, Verizon said it remains happy with its mix of customers.

OpenSignal: Sprint posts lowest LTE latency figures for Q2

FierceWireless, with partner OpenSignal, is hoping to shed some light onto the latency issue. AT&T Mobility showed a slight increase in latency speeds on its LTE network in the second quarter when compared with the operator's results from the first quarter.  Special report

Report: Sprint starts widespread carrier aggregation deployment in 2.5 GHz band

Sprint has started actively deploying two-carrier carrier aggregation technology on its 2.5 GHz spectrum in dozens of major markets across the country to deliver faster speeds for customers, according to an internal Sprint document posted on Reddit by a Reddit-verified Sprint employee.

Ericsson sees North American business stabilizing as it beats Q2 sales expectations

Ericsson reported stronger sales and operating profit than analysts had expected in the second quarter, and the network vendor said that its business in the U.S. market had stabilized during the period.

Qualcomm unfazed by EC probes into its sales practices

U.S. chipset manufacturer Qualcomm said it was "unconcerned" about the launch of two antitrust investigations by the European Commission (EC) into its sales tactics, saying it was "disappointed" about the move but would cooperate fully on the matter.

Intel still on track to cutting mobile losses, plans LTE chip for entry-level phones in early 2016

Intel is still on track to cut around $800 million from losses in its mobile operations this year but is delaying slightly the introduction of its newest mobile chips designed for entry-level devices.

Kwicr study: U.S. LTE speeds in the middle of the pack

The United States may be among the leaders in terms of LTE network coverage and subscribers but in terms of mean throughput, the country is squarely in the middle of the pack, at least according to a new report from Kwicr (a 2015 Fierce 15 winner).  

Schoolar: Stray observations from the 2015 LTE World Summit

Did you miss all the news coming out of LTE World Summit the other week? Did you even know it took place? You might not have known it was even going on if you weren't there. That, however, isn't exactly a bad thing.