TeliaSonera: Reduced latency is what sells LTE

Having had the opportunity to measure LTE in commercial operation, TeliaSonera believes that lower latency, not data throughput, most impresses consumers.

The company, which was the first operator to launch commercial LTE services last December, said that LTE download speeds in Norway and Sweden, which can be 10x faster than those achieved with 3G, was the best feature of the technology, but it was the lower latency that made customers go "wow".

According to TeliaSonera's head of R&D, Johan Wickman, "They click and it happens, with very little delay. We have seen a big uptick in upstream video; upstream in particular seems to be a 4G killer app."

Wickman also said that the company will be launching dual-mode USB dongles that will work with the company's LTE and 3G infrastructure. "At the end of this quarter we will have one multimode dongle [from Samsung], with several vendors [delivering multi-mode] by the end of the year."

However, the company admitted that LTE handsets will not appear until early next year. This would seem to be in line with Verizon Wireless, which has mentioned May 2011 as a potential start date for commercial LTE mobile phones.

But a report carried by Rethink Wireless, which made mention of TeliaSonera's plans to expand LTE coverage to include the Finnish city of Turku, said that the company would launch LTE smartphones this year.

No details were provided as to the possible vendor that could provide these devices within this timescale.

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