Many of the press releases spewing out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week mentioned Long Term Evolution (LTE). Then Verizon’s EVP and CTO Dick Lynch made the announcement that the wireless company plans to build America’s first LTE network.
Lynch said during his keynote speech that Verizon Wireless had selected Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent as its two primary network vendors for its initial LTE network deployments in the United States. These two vendors are expected to build the underlying infrastructure to enable Verizon’s commercial LTE-based service in the United States, starting in 2010.
LTE was created by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to improve mobile phone open standards and spectral efficiency.
Verizon Wireless has worked with Vodafone to field test LTE networks in the United States and Europe and has reached peak download rates as high as 60 Mbps.
Lynch also announced the creation of a Verizon LTE Innovation Center based in Waltham, MA, to develop non-traditional products for use on LTE networks.
LTE competes with Mobile WiMax for dominance in the Fourth Generation Wireless (4G) market. For more, click here.
WiMAX vs. LTE
Clearwire put a positive spin on the Verizon announcement with its own statement: "Verizon’s 4G deployment plans are a testament to the fact that the existing 3G networks simply won’t support a rich ‘true broadband’ experience … having more operators espousing the benefits of 4G can only serve to increase consumer awareness and demand for better services. This is a great place for Clearwire to be."
The Clearwire statement went on to tout WiMAX, stating, "Today, Clearwire customers experience better speeds and bandwidth than what is being described as next year’s LTE networks."
Not wanting to be left out of the LTE hype, Motorola took visitors on a driving tour through Barcelona (wish we’d been there) to demonstrate live LTE applications, such as HD streaming video, in a real-life metropolitan RF setting. The drive tour showcased Motorola’s latest OFDM wireless network infrastructure operating at 2.6 GHz. OFDM is a next-generation RF technology with high spectral efficiency, utilizing an all-IP flat architecture.
Hopes for LTE are so high that it was even mentioned at a press conference about using mobile broadband services to stimulate growth in a slumping world economy.
Ericsson’s President and CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg said: "Mobile broadband is essential for socio-economic growth, and with LTE, the industry has, for the first time, a true global standard. The deployment of mobile broadband is also particularly important for closing the digital divide, and the allocation of low-frequency spectrum is a prerequisite."
The Mobile World Congress reported that 47,000 visitors from 189 countries attended its 2009 event. The Mobile World Congress’ sister event, the Mobile Asia Congress, will be held in Hong Kong in autumn 2009.
– Linda Hardesty
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