LTE (Long-Term Evolution, commonly marketed as 4G LTE) is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It is based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA network technologies, increasing the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with core network improvements. The standard is developed by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and is specified in its Release 8 document series, with minor enhancements described in Release 9.
LTE is the natural upgrade path for carriers with both GSM/UMTS networks and CDMA2000 networks. The different LTE frequencies and bands used in different countries will mean that only multi-band phones will be able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported.
Although marketed as a 4G wireless service, LTE (as specified in the 3GPP Release 8 and 9 document series) does not satisfy the technical requirements the 3GPP consortium has adopted for its new LTE Advanced standard. The requirements were originally set forth by the ITU-R organization in its IMT Advanced specification. However, due to marketing pressures and the significant advancements that WiMAX,Evolved High Speed Packet Access and LTE bring to the original 3G technologies, ITU later decided that LTE together with the aforementioned technologies can be called 4G technologies. The LTE Advanced standard formally satisfies the ITU-R requirements to be considered IMT-Advanced. To differentiate LTE Advanced and WiMAX-Advanced from current 4G technologies, ITU has defined them as "True 4G".
Long Term Evolution (LTE) is a 4G wireless broadband technology developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an industry trade group.
3GPP engineers named the technology "Long Term Evolution" because it represents the next step (4G) in a progression from GSM, a 2G standard, to UMTS, the 3G technologies based upon GSM. LTE provides significantly increased peak data rates, with the potential for 100 Mbps downstream and 30 Mbps upstream, reduced latency, scalable bandwidth capacity, and backwards compatibility with existing GSM and UMTS technology. Future developments to could yield peak throughput on the order of 300 Mbps.
The upper layers of LTE are based upon TCP/IP, which will likely result in an all-IP network similar to the current state of wired communications. LTE will support mixed data, voice, video and messaging traffic. LTE uses OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) and, in later releases, MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna technology similar to that used in the IEEE 802.11n wireless local area network (WLAN) standard. The higher signal to noise ratio (SNR) at the receiver enabled by MIMO, along with OFDM, provides improved coverage and throughput, especially in dense urban areas.
LTE is scheduled to be launched commercially in 2010 by Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless. T-Mobile and Alltel have also announced plans to roll out 4G capabilities based on LTE. These networks will compete with Clearwire's WiMAX for both enterprise and consumer broadband wireless customers. Outside of the US telecommunications market, GSM is the dominant mobile standard, with more than 80% of the world's cellular phone users. As a result, HSDPA and then LTE are the likely wireless broadband technologies of choice for most users. Nortel and other infrastructure vendors are focusing significant research and development efforts on the creation of LTE base stations to meet the expected demand. When implemented, LTE has the potential to bring pervasive computing to a global audience, with a wire-like experience for mobile users everywhere.
Definition: LTE (Long Term Evolution) is a wireless broadband technology designed to support roaming Internet access via cell phones and handheld devices. Because LTE offers significant improvements over older cellular communication standards, some refer to it as a 4G (fourth generation) technology along with WiMax.
With its architecture based on Internet Protocol (IP) unlike many other cellular Internet protocols, Long Term Evolution supports browsing Web sites, VoIP and other IP-based services well.
LTE can theoretically support downloads at 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) or more based on experimental trials. However, the actual network bandwidth available to an individual LTE subscriber sharing the service provider's network with other customers is significantly less.
Long Term Evolution service is only available in limited geographic areas, but telecommunications providers have been actively expanding their LTE services.