What Is LTE?
LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is a 4th generation (4G) mobile broadband standard and is aimed to be the successor to the 3G technologies GSM/UMTS. The LTE mobile broadband network is slated to be widely available in 2012. It will be competing with WiMax. Some of the LTE carriers will include Verizon, T-Mobile, Vodafone, AT&T, and many more worldwide. Currently, Verizon has been implementing and marketing LTE more than any other carrier.
This technology will transmit signals via radio platform. You will need an LTE modem to access the network, which can be in USB format, ExpressCard, PCMCIA, or embedded in a laptop. Being able to connect different types of devices to LTE networks around the world allows for integration of this technology into various devices and better widespread support.
LTE will be an alternative to DSL, cable, satellite, and dial-up internet. It will free people from the burden of having to find a WiFi hotspot when they are on the road - as long as you have an LTE modem, you can connect to the internet anywhere in the service provider's coverage area or hop on another carrier's network if they have LTE support.
LTE technology is a based on a 3GPP standard that provides for a downlink speed of up to 150 megabits per second (Mbps) and an uplink speed of up to 50 Mbps. LTE will have reduced latency of 10 ms round-trip time between user equipment and base station. Fixed wireless and wired standards are already approaching or achieving 100 Mbps or faster, and LTE is a way for cellular communications to operate at that high data rate.
To see LTE's place in the history of technology, visit White Root Media's Technology Timeline.