Wireless devices with 100 Mbps networking and 300 Mbps peak could be available by 2009 or 2010, using the LTE Terrestrial Radio Access Network (LTE-TRAN) specification approved by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) last week.
LTE-TRAN is considered an evolution of current 3G versions of GSM/UMTS, with an interim step of 14 Mbps possible, explained Alan Hadden, president of the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), a 3GPP market partner in London.
LTE is officially part of the upcoming 3GPP Release 8. It uses the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) radio interface and addresses latency with Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) methods. With the recent approval, it’s now stable enough for the industry to begin development and testing, Hadden said.
However, “There’s always the opportunity for tweaks and adjustments in the light of practical experience,” he said. That could include changes for interoperability or bug fixes.
WiMAX is a competitor, but carriers choosing LTE can use their existing frequency allocations. They’ll still need updated hardware, although some carriers already are using a related system architecture, so the transition to LTE may be less bumpy than one to WiMAX, Hadden added.
Members of the GSA, who may individually support LTE network carriers, include Broadcom, Ericsson, Hewlett Packard, LSI Logic, Motorola, Nokia Siemens, Panasonic, Qualcomm and Telcordia.