Saturday, November 27, 2010

LTE, 4G The Future of Wireless Communications...

What is the future of wireless communications?  How fast will they get?
LTE is an abbreviation of 3GPP which stands for 3rd Generation Partnership Project, developed by the the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.  It was first implemented in Stockholm and Oslo in 2009.  It is currently, the fastest communications protocol developed for wireless communications.  

In the United States, MetroPCS, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility have all announced plans to convert their networks to LTE.  Although, it is commonly called 4G, it is technically, a 3.9G technology, because it does not fully comply with the IMT Advanced 4G requirements.  Where does it fail to comply?  It does not comply in regards to the speed of transmissions requirements.  To be true 4G, there must be transmissions speeds of at least 100 MiB/s, that is 100 megabits per second, or 1 gigabit per second.  Let us compare this speed to our current 3G or 3.5G standards.  3.5G can deliver speeds of up to 14.4 megabits per second, or, .144 gigabit per second.  This is VERY slow compared to true 4G.

There is another standard that is being touted by Sprint as 4G.  It is called WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access).  WiMax is what is called an "open source" standard, which means no one owns it and its specs and code are open to anyone.  In its present form, it is not as fast as LTE, clocking in at about 700 megabits per second as opposed to LTEs 1,000 megabits per second.  There is an updated version of WiMax that is supposed to reach 1,000 megabits per second, sometime in the future.  It must be cautioned that these speeds are top ideal speeds, not actual normal speeds.  The reality will be significantly slower.  


LTE, in contrast to WiMaX is not an open source standard.  It was fashioned by the telecommunications companies and is slated to be adopted by 80% of them, which will make it the de facto industry standard.**  We show you two videos. The first one is on LTE, the second on WiMax.  They will be able to do very similar things.  Enjoy!


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