or Long Term Evolution is the last step toward 4th generation cell phones. It is designed to increase the speed and capacity of the wireless network. The specification calls for a 100 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink although in the final implementation it will be much slower. It should have lower latency and provide passing through of older standards such as GSM, CDMA, and CDMA2000.
Specifically, LTE offers the following:
- Low latency and high throughput
- Efficient always-on operation, with instantaneous access to network resources
- Support for real-time and non-real-time applications
- Flexible spectrum allocations
- Re-use of existing cell site infrastructure
- High spectrum efficiency for unicast, multicast and broadcast data
Since LTE does not meet the requirements for 4G, an enhanced version called LTE Advanced
is under development.
The main competitor to LTE is WiMAX
which is being rolled out to cover the "last mile" connectivity. In this article
the author outlines the race to between LTE and WiMAX.