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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T-Mobile's 'blow-out:' 2.2M new customers and 10.6% revenue growth in Q1

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Sprint's 'LTE Plus' network now reaches 191 markets including New York

Sprint announced the launch of its "LTE Plus" network across the New York metropolitan area, claiming it has doubled the speed and capacity of more than 900 2.5 GHz cell sites in the market since the beginning of the year.

FirstNet updates its VNS network vision

FirstNet says its vision for the Vehicle Network System (VNS), previously known as an MCU, involves a new product concept meant to address the communication needs of remote first responders immediately when they respond to incidents that are outside of terrestrial coverage, or if traditional coverage has become unavailable due to a natural or man-made disaster.

Qualcomm gets OK to test drones in Class B airspace at its San Diego campus

Qualcomm Technologies is going full bore on its drone R&D now that it has obtained a certificate of authorization (COA) from the FAA to do outdoor testing of drones on its San Diego campus.

IHS: Ericsson leads $13B LTE infrastructure market, but the growth is over

LTE rollouts in China and India fueled a $13 billion worldwide macrocell infrastructure market in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to IHS Technology. But the LTE market has already topped out, the firm warned, and will begin to decline this year.

GSA: LTE passed 1B subscriptions milestone in Q4

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) confirmed that the number of LTE subscriptions worldwide would exceed the 1 billion mark in the final quarter of 2015.

America Movil outspends AT&T in Mexico's spectrum auction

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T-Mobile: We'll cover 30M to 40M new POPs in 12-18 months

T-Mobile believes its recent spectrum spending spree will begin to pay dividends this year.

Tele2 offers 4G in all markets after finalising JV with Kazakhtelecom

Tele2 finalised a joint venture in Kazakhstan that opens the door for the operator to offer LTE access throughout all of its markets.

U.S. Cellular completes LTE buildout and begins LTE roaming, but Q4 performance below some expectations

U.S. Cellular said it has largely finished its LTE network buildout, and noted it now covers roughly 99 percent of its postpaid customers with LTE service. The company also said it is now rolling out LTE roaming agreements with "multiple" unnamed partners.