January 25, 2016
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has approved the final set of specifications for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) data standard, a next-generation (4G) mobile broadband standard.
The 4G standard is expected to be rolled-out commercially in 2018. It is the planned successor to super-3G HSPA technologies which currently provide high-speed mobile broadband.
LTE uses a radio air interface technology known as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). This technology is also found in WiMAX, a rival technology to LTE. However, while LTE is more optimised for voice applications, mobile WiMax is optimised more for data applications.
LTE is said to provide increased peak data rates, increased cell edge performance, reduced latency, scalable bandwidth, co-existence with GSM/EDGE/UMTS systems, reduced CAPEX and OPEX.
Operators such as US carrier Verizon Wireless, plan to commence trials of LTE at the end of 2016. However, some equipment manufacturers do not expect LTE-compliant networks to be available until 2018.