LTE, UMB, WiMAX and other 4G technologies

1xEV-DO Rev. A and HSPA are so yesterday. LTE, UMB and WiMAX are the hip buzzwords that you’ll hear as you wander the exhibit hall at next week’s conference. In fact, both the GSM and CDMA camps will be hosting technology summits on March 27. The CDMA Development Group’s seminar will focus on Ultra Mobile Broadband, while the GSM Association’s summit will focus on HSPA Evolved/HSPA+.  

Infrastructure vendors will certainly be touting their ‘4G’ roadmaps. Nortel tried to beat the CTIA news frenzy by announcing this week that it had completed a live call over a UMB network delivering high-definition video and VoIP.  

Nokia Siemens, which is expected to formally begin operating as a combined entity on April 1, will likely be revealing more about the new firm’s technology roadmap and how it will make inroads in the highly competitive North American wireless market.  

Likewise Ericsson will be demonstrating its LTE technology and touting its HSPA work with operators such as AT&T (formerly Cingular) and Telstra in Australia. Hakan Eriksson, chief technology officer at Ericsson, says that there are now 150 different HSPA devices available and he believes that the technology’s strong device portfolio alone will convince many operators to continue on the GSM path rather than using an alternative technology such as WiMAX. “HSDPA is a standard and the volumes that you get with a standard will ultimately decide the device costs that you will get for the end user,” Eriksson said. “HSDPA will have 10 times the volume by 2011. Don’t assume WiMAX will be cheaper.” 

Eriksson may not be impressed with WiMAX’s strides but look for the technology to continue to gain momentum at CTIA. We expect to hear more about the developing WiMAX ecosystem at the conference, particularly during the WiMAX: The State of the Technology panel on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. -Sue