What is LTE in Mobile Networks? Is it Similar to 4G on Phones?
Launch of new iPad 2 brings support for LTE and it’s not just about iPad but many new generation devices says LTE in their specification. So, We will see in this article what does LTE mobile communication type means? Is it similar to 4G?
What is LTE?
LTE means Long Term Evolution. It is a mobile communications standard developed by the 3GPP, the association who developed and maintains GSM and UMTS. The radio interface (physical layer) system LTE is something completely new, so LTE is a new generation over UMTS (third generation or 3G) and in turn GSM (second generation or 2G). However, the International Telecommunication Union ( ITU ) does not consider that the LTE being deployed around the world right now is 4G, and we’ll see why.
LTE was born to cover mainly the following requirements :
- Users want a data connection to download and upload faster
- Manufacturers and operators want a standard less complex and reduces costs
- We must ensure the competitiveness of 3G in the future front, for example, WiMAX
The first public service of LTE was deployed in the Scandinavian capitals of Stockholm and Oslo on December 14, 2009.
Characteristics of LTE
LTE technology is very good and stable with three key features : allows high bit rates with low latency, is cheap and easy to deploy by operators, and avoid fragmentation by the type of duplexing.
The download and upload rates, which is the most important thing which interests us, can reach peak speeds of 173 Mbps downstream and 86 Mbps upstream, with 2 antennas at the base station and 2 in the terminal (and up to 300 Mbps downstream with 4 × 4 antennas). LTE Advanced, the next revision of LTE to be discussed in the second part, we will have downloads around 900 Mbps As for latency, very low: from 10ms.
With respect to a network that is easy to deploy, the key is that the services of LTE only use packet switching. LTE can not handle SMS or calls in the old way.
The system switching packet LTE is highly optimized for a world in which we do more things over IP (OIP instead of call, whatsapp instead of SMS …).
Finally, LTE is also designed to avoid fragmentation of the terminals worldwide by the type of duplexing as the latest revisions of the standard support both FDD ( Frequency Division Duplex ) using various parts of the spectrum and TDD ( Time Division Duplex ) which occupies a single zone. Thus, a Chinese LTE TDD phone will work in United States without further inconvenience.