LTE will support 50-100bn connected devices, claims Vodafone-backed expert

Having worked closely with LTE equipment and chip developers, a Vodafone-sponsored academic believes that as many as 100 billion cellular devices will be connected by 2020.

Based upon LTE becoming commercially established by 2012, and LTE+ in around five years from now, Gerhard Fettweis, Vodafone chair professor at the Technische Universitat Dresden, said that LTE chipsets would be installed into a wide range of devices.

While he gave current-day M2M examples of where this might be possible, Fettweis claimed that implementing LTE+ into an Airbus A380 could offer particular benefit. By providing each aircraft seat with LTE+, passengers would be able to wirelessly connect to the in-flight entertainment system and reduce the weight of the airplane by removing the tons of cabling presently used to provide this service.

The professor also maintained that the 100Gbs provided by LTE+ could be used to connect circuit boards within a device instead of conventional wiring.

Benefiting from having his own LTE+ test bed in the centre of Dresden--installed in cooperation with Qualcomm, Alca-Lu and Infineon--Fettweis said that the university had a 100sq mm chip as a research platform for LTE. However, "using the 45 nanometre CMOS process we can do it in 10sq mm. With LTE we can fit everything in a quarter or maybe even one tenth of a chip," he claimed.

For more on this story:

Related stories:
EU funds future mobile broadband research; aims for 1Gbps
Nokia to co-op on LTE-Advanced chipset
Timescales for LTE devices on the slide
LTE will bridge the digital divide