Wireless Blog

The Wireless Blog from Unwired Insight discusses the latest developments in wireless networks and services, including the new technologies and architectures of LTE-Advanced and 5G. For expert advice on 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G mobile systems and standards, including GSM, UMTS, LTE, LTE-Advanced and 5G-NR, please contact us.

LTE deployment will start in 2010

Photograph of Alastair BrydonLTE will be a major enhancement to 3G networks. It utilises a completely new modulation (for a 3G system) – OFDM – which has been widely adopted for WLAN (IEEE 802.11a/b/g), WiMAX, DVB digital terrestrial TV and DAB digital radio.

While LTE can support narrower bandwidths than HSPA/HSPA+ (supporting bandwidths as low as 1.5MHz), it is its use of wider bandwidths (up to 20MHz) that allows LTE to achieve substantial throughput advantages over HSPA/HSPA+.

LTE is designed to offer peak theoretical download rates of between 173Mbps and 326Mbps (depending on the number of MIMO antennas used) in 20MHz of spectrum. Theoretical peak upload speeds will be 86Mbps using 20MHz spectrum. All terminals should be able to operate using 20MHz of bandwidth to achieve the best performance possible from LTE.

The LTE Radio Access Network technical specification was approved in January 2008 and is being incorporated into 3GPP Release 8.

Most 3G operators with HSPA networks are expected to upgrade to LTE at some stage. In April 2009, the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) announced that 31 operators had committed to LTE deployment. A number of 3G operators are expected to deploy LTE in 2010, which include:

  • NTT DoCoMo and KDDI, in Japan
  • Verizon Wireless, in the USA
  • Rogers Wireless (in time for the 2010 Olympics) and Telus, in Canada
  • TeliaSonera, in Sweden and Norway
  • Tele3 and Telenor (which are jointly building an LTE network), in Sweden.

Dr Alastair Brydon has worked in digital radio communications for over 25 years. He provides expert advice on 2G, 3G and 4G mobile systems and standards including GSM, UMTS and LTE. He has written over 40 reports on the development of wireless technologies and services and has acted as an expert witness in major patent disputes.

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