The 4G buzz is growing

 

The 4G buzz is growing 

Although the 4G standards are still undetermined, I expect to hear a lot of rumblings about 4G next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Operators may still be in the midst of upgrading their networks to 3G, but vendors are already touting the benefits of LTE (long-term evolution), WiMAX and other 4G-type technologies.

LTE has certainly been in the headlines this week. On Wednesday, AT&T confirmed what everyone had suspected--it will use LTE as its 4G technology option. AT&T is the second major U.S. operator to back the technology. Verizon Wireless announced that it was adding LTE to its technology roadmap last fall.

The LTE/SAE Trial initiative, which is made up of vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Nokia, Orange, Nortel, T-Mobile and others, announced that it had completed its second round of LTE tests. Findings include field tests on prototype LTE systems showing that devices can achieve download speeds exceeding 100 Mbps and high performance systems using 4x4 MIMO antennas can push this to beyond 300 Mbps. 

At FierceWireless, we are taking an in-depth look at 4G and what it means to operators. On March 5 at 2 p.m. EST, I'll be hosting a Webinar, "Mobile Broadband and the 4G Roadmap." My guests, which include Peter Jarich of Current Analysis and Arun Bhikshesvaran, Ericsson's CTO and head of Strategy and Business Development for North America, will talk about the various competing 4G technologies including WiMAX, LTE and Ultra Mobile Broadband. Click here to register.

But the Webinar is just the start. FierceWireless is also hosting a one-day conference at CTIA Wireless 2008 in Las Vegas. The conference, "The Path to 4G" will take place on April 2 and will examine all angles of the mobile broadband equation and educate both carriers and others in the wireless industry on the current and proposed next-generation mobile broadband options. Our panel sessions will delve into WiMAX, HSPA, LTE and UMB. I've put together what I feel is a compelling agenda and we are in the midst of signing up some very high-level panelists for the event. Check out the agenda here. -Sue 

P.S. Several members of the Fierce team are heading to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress. I'll be there along with Jason Ankeny and Brian Dolan. We will be bringing you all the news from the event. You can see our coverage here. In preparation, we've also put together a MWC preview issue which tells you what we think will be hot at the Congress and provides you with some helpful tips for Barcelona. Check it out here.

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