Long Term Evolution (LTE) is an advanced wireless standard that promises to bring better wireless connectivity to users in both urban and rural areas. In the mobile network, data can be transmitted over the air more effectively and in greater amounts than has been possible historically under older wireless telephone communication standards. As such, the phrase ‘LTE’ actually denotes the entire range of technologies that are involved in transferring data between devices.
The primary reason why such standards have been developed is because of the increasing demands that consumers place on mobile services. This has resulted in considerable technological improvements, particularly in terms of the data transmission capabilities of cellular telephones. In fact, it is these improved capabilities that are driving the long term evolution of the mobile network. As such, one of the key questions that arises from this issue is how people should view the evolution of the network.
The first factor to consider in regard to the LTE standard is the increasing number of wireless connections that are being introduced into the marketplace. Such developments have led to the penetration of mobile broadband networks in more locations than ever before. The penetration rate of some of the newer wireless connections has reached up to two hundred million subscribers in some parts of the United States. Such figures are quite far from the one hundred million subscribers that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) estimates are connected to mobile broadband networks in the US. The disparity between these figures has to do with the fact that LTE has not yet reached maturity, while the FCC’s own estimate is way above the actual numbers.
The second factor that has to do with the future of LTE is the fact that this service offers greater flexibility than other forms of mobile service. For instance, there is a widespread misconception that LTE can offer a single band solution. In reality, however, there are two different technologies that are used in LTE communications: CDMA and GSM. CDMA is the industry standard, but its use is limited to a single frequency. The advantage of using LTE instead of CDMA is the greater range of coverage that is offered, but it is also important to note that it uses the same technology for both mobile and fixed services.
The third key factor is the increase in the availability of devices that utilize LTE technology. Currently, many LTE capable devices, such as tablets and smart phones, can access mobile broadband at a much faster speed than they could before. As a result, it is not uncommon to find that a person using an old style cell phone will be able to connect to a mobile broadband network using a tablet computer, while a person on a laptop will not be able to access the Internet at the same rate because the speed of the connection is too slow for downloads to be successful. As a result, users of these devices may need to upgrade their devices to take advantage of this type of mobile broadband service. Fortunately, the current versions of these devices often come preinstalled with the proper software needed to access a mobile broadband network.
There are many factors that will affect the future evolution of mobile telecommunications, and no one knows where it all might end up. It is, however, safe to say that any attempts to bring about the LTE evolution will most likely face stiff opposition from competitors who have already made the transition to GSM and CDMA technology. Nevertheless, it is clear that these competing technologies will continue to evolve towards greater levels of competency, and it is likely that by the next decade, there will be far less difference between them in terms of data rates and connectivity speeds.