Verizon to launch 38 LTE networks by the end of this year

Posted on October 7, 2010

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Verizon will launch 38 LTE networks by the end of this year, according to Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s president and chief operating officer. I thought it would be worth giving the basic definition of LTE.

3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE), is the latest standard in the mobile network technology tree that previously realized the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSxPA network technologies. It is a project of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), operating under a name trademarked by one of the associations within the partnership, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

The current generation of mobile telecommunication networks are collectively known as 3G (for “third generation”). Although LTE is often marketed as 4G, first-release LTE is actually a 3.9G technology since it does not fully comply with the IMT Advanced 4G requirements. The pre-4G standard is a step towards LTE Advanced, a 4th generation standard (4G) of radio technologies designed to increase the capacity and speed of mobile telephone networks. LTE Advanced is backwards compatible with LTE and uses the same frequency bands, while LTE is not backwards compatible with 3G systems.

Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility in the United States and several worldwide carriers announced plans, beginning in 2009, to convert their networks to LTE. The world’s first publicly available LTE-service was opened by TeliaSonera in the two Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo on the 14th of December 2009. LTE is a set of enhancements to the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) which was introduced in 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 8. Much of 3GPP Release 8 focuses on adopting 4G mobile communication’s technology, including an all-IP flat networking architecture. On August 18, 2009, the European Commission announced it will invest a total of €18 million into researching the deployment of LTE and 4G candidate system LTE Advanced.

While it is commonly seen as a mobile telephone or common carrier development, LTE is also endorsed by public safety agencies in the US as the preferred technology for the new 700 MHz public-safety radio band. Agencies in some areas have filed for waivers hoping to use the 700 MHz spectrum with other technologies in advance of the adoption of a nationwide standard.

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