LTE ready for late 2009, says Ericsson

Perhaps in an attempt to deflect attention away from its Q3 results (operating profits down 40 per cent), Ericsson has stated that there would be commercial deployments of LTE starting in late 2009.

According to John Cunliffe, Ericsson UK's CTO, trials of LTE would begin by the end of this year with commercial services, handsets and base stations surfacing during the latter part of next year. The company has already conducted drive testing of LTE in Sweden which produced peak download speeds of 154Mbps, a mean of 78Mbps and a minimum of 16Mbps--albeit that these figures bear little relationship to 'real-world' throughput.

How quickly operators shift towards LTE was brought into question by Cunliffe pointing at the growing success of HSPA-based 3G mobile broadband services. "There is a roadmap for HSPA. We have 7.2Mbps in the UK at the moment, and coverage is good with plenty of handsets supporting it. With high levels of modulation like 64QAM and MIMO, we can get 42Mbps out of HSPA ... and even 80Mbps with further optimisation."

As operators continue to heavily promote mobile broadband services, including increasingly generous monthly download allocations, HSPA and/or LTE might just become the favoured connection for broadband access - bringing into question the longevity of Wi-Fi.

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