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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LTE

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Latest Headlines

Telenor Denmark plans VoLTE launch in 2015

Telenor's Danish subsidiary is planning to launch commercial voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in 2015, after completing its first test call of the technology using kit from Nokia Networks.

FCC sides with T-Mobile, rules against AT&T, Verizon in roaming dispute

Handing a victory to T-Mobile US and smaller carriers, the FCC agreed to provide guidance on what exactly constitutes a "commercially reasonable" data roaming agreement. The move represents a blow to AT&T Mobility and Verizon Wireless, which had urged against such action.

Confirmed: T-Mobile to launch unlicensed LTE at 5 GHz, possibly next year

It looks as though T-Mobile US will be one of the first carriers using License Assisted Access (LAA) in the 5 GHz spectrum band, possibly as early as next year.

Sprint hits Spark buildout target for 2014, will reportedly focus on 2.5 GHz small cells next year

Sprint reached its Spark buildout target of covering 100 million POPs with its tri-mode Spark LTE service this year, the company announced today. And, according to Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche, Sprint plans to rely heavily on small cells to densify its Spark service next year.

Analysts: T-Mobile rollover data plan unlikely to provoke response from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint

T-Mobile US' latest "uncarrier" move, to offer new and existing customers rollover data, could improve its business on the margins and boost its brand image, but it is unlikely to have a major impact or provoke a reaction from competitors, according to financial and industry analysts.

T-Mobile launches rollover data program, gives customers 10 GB for free to start

T-Mobile US is launching a program that will let its customers roll over their unused data usage from month to month. The program, which the carrier calls "Data Stash," will be available to new and existing T-Mobile subscribers on an eligible postpaid Simple Choice plan who have purchased at least 3 GB of LTE data for smartphones or at least 1 GB for tablets.

T-Mobile has 'several years' of additional network capacity with current spectrum

T-Mobile is relatively well positioned in the battle for network capacity, according to a recent investor note from analysts at Macquarie Capital. Citing a recent meeting with T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray, the firm wrote that "T-Mo has several years of additional capacity on existing spectrum and current growth rates." The firm also raised its expectations for T-Mobile's fourth quarter performance from 939,000 postpaid net adds to fully 1.2 million postpaid net adds.

Jarich: LTE TDD- what comes next?

Back in June (yep, that long ago), I began a set of posts looking at LTE TDD building off my impression that key LTE TDD misconceptions were still circulating: that it's a fundamentally distinct branch of LTE, and that it was developed in China. Exploring (debunking?) these ideas, we looked at the birth of LTE standards for insights into how TDD and FDD versions of LTE were related as part of a common development and standard. We looked at LTE TDD in the "real world" through the lens of service deployments and device development. We answered your burning questions. With the end of the year fast approaching, it only seems right that we close out this discussion with a view to the future.

T-Mobile to unveil 'uncarrier 8.0' tomorrow

T-Mobile US CEO John Legere has a holiday surprise: the carrier's latest "uncarrier" move. The wily and voluble CEO will unveil T-Mobile's "uncarrier 8.0" at an event tomorrow morning in an interview with David Pogue of Yahoo! News.

Nokia Networks, STC claim MEA first with TDD-FDD carrier aggregation demo

Nokia Networks said it completed the first demonstration of TDD-FDD carrier aggregation on a commercial chipset in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, in conjunction with Saudi Telecom Company (STC).